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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT vs. Guatemala


U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
On the match:
“I think we saw quite an exciting game. First of all, I would like to thank the Guatemalan people for the welcome that they gave us, for the hospitality that they gave us for these couple of days. It was a wonderful experience. I think the game was open for most of the stretch of it. Obviously, with the lead one-nil, you want to win it, you want to bring the three points home. We came for three points but I think at the end of the day, the tie, based on all the chances on both sides, is OK.”

On the qualifying group remaining wide open after the result against Guatemala:
“I think it’s an open group and it will be a competition until the very last game. That’s what you can expect when you have a four-team group. Two go through so you have to go and get a result in every single game. We got a result here. We wanted three points but we’re OK with the one point that we take away leading the group. And knowing now going into Jamaica, for us, we have to get that result as well, which we will do, and we’ll be one of the two top teams that advance. That is our goal as well as Guatemala’s goal.”

On whether he thought at any point that Guatemala could come from behind to win:
“It’s always possible that you can concede a goal on a set piece. We conceded a goal from a set piece, a beautiful free kick. But corner kicks are also dangerous from Guatemala. We knew that so we were prepared for that. Obviously, when you lead one-nil, you want to close it down. You want to score the second goal. We brought in Jozy Altidore to go forward even more. Jozy got hit right in the beginning of coming in so he was limping. It was pretty serious there. It was tough for us. They kept pushing and creating and then they got that goal through a beautiful free kick.”

On whether Guatemala controlling much of the second half was due to Guatemala improving or the U.S. letting down:
“I think the second half, there were two ways to look at it. Guatemala had to push more and more and more and had to create something, being one-nil down, which they tried to do. The other thing is that we were going for a second goal in order to close down the game. It was just a normal way a game goes and if you allow them a set piece when they are 20 or 22 yards in front of the goal, then things like that can happen. But overall it was a good game from our end. I’m happy with the performance. I would love three points but I will take it the way it is.”

On the competitive nature of Group A:
“I think it shows you that it’s a very competitive group. It is a very competitive group and you have to work your way through it, you’ve got to get your points and you have to qualify. It will be played until the sixth game in order to qualify.”

On not being able to get a second goal:
“When you control the game the way we did, especially after we scored the goal and passed around the ball really well, you’re a bit disappointed when something like that happens. On the other side, they never gave up. They launched long balls and ran for second balls, that’s their kind of approach and that’s always tricky. You’ve got to give them credit for that. Overall, I’m pleased with the performance of our guys. The way they played the game, controlled the game, it was clear to see that we came here for three points – we didn’t come here for a point. I think that leaves an impression as well on the Guatemalan side. Maybe we both go through and we meet again and they’ll know we’re coming for three points.”

 

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