U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team vs. Australia -- Post-Match Quote Sheet
THESSALONIKI, Greece (Aug. 17, 2004) - The U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team talks about their 1-1 draw with Australia in their third and final Group G match of the Athens Olympics.
Aug. 17, 2004
U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team vs. Australia
Aug. 17, 2004
U.S. midfielder Kristine Lilly on the game:
"We had a good first half, but in the second half we were a little dead and let them play too much and they stuck one in. We didn't dominate enough in the second half, but we finished with the tie, seven points and we are moving on so we are happy about that."
Lilly on if the tie felt like a loss:
"For us, since I've been on this team, a tie has always felt like a loss. That's not on our agenda. Our agenda is to win, so when you set your goals that high, anything below that is disappointed. But now we have to step above that and we are moving onto the quarters, now it's do or die. We have to change our mindset. We are in this together and we have to put two good halves together and believe in each other and finish our chances."
U.S. head coach April Heinrichs on the match:
"I think on the whole we are dissatisfied with our own performance…We'd like to self-evaluate and ask each player to raise her level slightly. If we do that, I think we can play in the manner necessary to succeed in the knockout phase."
Heinrichs on both halves:
"I thought we were commanding in the first half. We controlled the tempo of the game and we sprayed the ball around the field. We really forced Australia to chase a considerable amount. Then in the second half, we came out and were doing really well overall, and then we lost control of the game…Then it became a battle of fifty-fifty balls and that's not something you want to get into with any team, especially Australia as they are particularly strong in the air and on the ground."
Heinrichs on the parity of the tournament and looking forward:
"One of the most difficult things is to win consistently in the game of soccer, so we are pleased to come out of the group as the number one team with seven points. Brazil struggled to beat Australia and they are a fantastic team, so you can see there is great parity. Playing in the group of four teams has proven its challenges to a certain extent, now we look forward over the next two days to see if we can fine tune a couple things and then get into the knockout phase. I'm optimistic that in the knockout phase we will play with a little less caution, with a little more of the aggressive mentality."
Heinrichs on Japan, who the USA tied, 1-1, on June 6 of this year:
"Japan has proven itself a worthy opponent in every respect. The last couple times we have played them it has been close games. They are athletic, technical, efficient, tactically gifted and playing with a lot of confidence."
Heinrichs on what the USA needs to do looking forward:
"We had some players play outstanding soccer tonight. We had some players play outstanding the other nights and now we have to put that together from one game to the next and from the first half to the second half."
Heinrichs on how the team missed the suspended Abby Wambach:
"She's a world-class player…She can impact a game at any moment. Abby has put on a display in this Olympics showing her mentality, her toughness and her sophistication and skill. The goal she scored against Brazil was fantastic so we'll be happy to have her back."
U.S. forward Abby Wambach on missing the game through suspension for two yellow cards:
"It was hard. It was hard not to warm up. It's heartbreaking. I want to kick myself. It's one of those situations where if I just backed off and not gotten the yellow card…not that it's going to change what happened, because it's not. I am not going to be pouting about it, but it was hard to take and hard to watch us tie."
Wambach on Japan:
"Japan might be the most underrated team in the tournament. We are going to have to bring our "A" game. This is an awfully tough game for a top seed (after the USA won its group) coming into the quarterfinals. They are very tactical, very technical and very athletic. They shut us down in a lot of ways in that game (their earlier meeting on June 6) and I feel we may have been lucky to pull off a tie. Knowing that, we just have to be prepared and come out ready to play."
U.S. forward Cindy Parlow on the game:
"We're disappointed we got a goal scored against us, but we are excited that we won the group and we're looking forward to the quarterfinals. We had a lot of chances early and didn't put them away and that hurt us in the end."
U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry on her first goal allowed in the tournament:
"I hoped it would go over, but I knew I couldn't get it. The way it was looping up, if I had tried to dive for it, I probably would have hit it in if I was able to even get a piece of it. It went right under the crossbar."
Scurry on Japan:
"They are a great team. It will be a tough battle for us. We're going to have to bring our mentality and our work rate because they are a hard working team. They are fit and keep the ball on the ground and keep it moving. We'll going to have to re-group, but we'll be running on all cylinders with Abby back."
U.S. captain Julie Foudy on fellow veterans Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly:
"I thought Mia worked her tail off tonight and Lil scored a great goal. They always give us a lift and they'll continue to do that."
Foudy on her assist to Lilly:
"I just wanted to whip it in there, but I would like to see the replay on that because she hit that well. She's so good at getting in at the back post like that. There was good communication, a couple of people told me I had time, so I had time to assess (the situation) and find her."
Foudy on missing Abby Wambach:
"You always miss Abby. She's such a presence. She's running through people and working her tail off. When you have her and Mia working, you saw how Mia worked tonight, it just creates chaos. It will be good to have her back."
Foudy on the team's outlook heading in the quarterfinals:
"We knew we wanted to get number one (in the group) and we knew could get through with a point. You want to beat them, but at the same time, you know you have to play again in three days. So you have to kind of balance that, especially with an extra game (in the four-team group), you have to really be able to manage games, although we could have managed the game a bit better tonight by knocking in a second goal and then being able to knock the ball around
a bit more. When you are in this quarterfinal phase, it's win or go home, so it's definitely a different mentality."
Australian head coach Adrian Santrac on moving from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 with a 62nd minute sub of Lisa de Vanna:
"We were tempted to do it much earlier, about 10 minutes in the first half it was a thought. The game is played and won over 90-95 minutes, so we have to be patient and make sure we are in touch with the game and doing what we need to do and not react to anything that's illogical. When Lisa did come on, the time was right. Just prior to that we were beginning to feel the momentum, we felt like it was the right time to throw Lisa on to make the difference for us. The midfielders picked up their game and we went four against four in the middle of the park and our girls really did pick up the momentum and dominate through the middle and created those opportunities up front. Lisa's pace is going to bother any team."