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Post-Match Quotes USA vs. Ghana

U.S. U-20 Women's National Team vs. Ghana U-20 Women's National Team
2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup
Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
July 14, 2010

U.S. Head Coach JILL ELLIS
On the match:
“It was unfortunate to give up an early goal, but I was very proud with the way we came out in the second half. It was extremely hot out there, but honestly I thought our players lacked some energy in the first half. We re-grouped, made a couple of tactical and personnel adjustments and I thought we played much better in the second half. Certainly, the challenge at this point is for us is to put two 45-minute halves together.”

On Ghana:
“I didn’t really know what to expect from this team because I hadn’t seen any film of them, but I watched some of their U-17 team (at the 2008 FIFA U-17 World Cup) and we knew we were going to deal with a very athletic team with some special individuals who can solve pressure. We certainly didn’t overlook Ghana, it was more about the commitment and energy that was needed to match their initially. They are a quality team.”

On looking forward:
“I told the players, we control our own destiny. We still have two more group games to play and we have to be focused and ready for the next match and I think our players will be.”

On giving up an early goal:
“I didn’t think we started the game well and the goal certainly unsettled us, but once we got into halftime and talked about it, I thought we put together a good second half and played very well.”

On having to come from behind to earn the draw:
“The goal came early and we just had to fight back. Maya (Hayes) came in and was an absolute spark off the bench and it was an unselfish play for her to pass me the ball. It felt good to tie it up and we kept going and maybe were unlucky not to get a winning goal, but I am proud of my team for coming back.”

On the USA almost pulling out the win:
“You gain momentum from big moments. When we scored that goal, we really felt like we were back into the game and we were getting our rhythm. At the beginning of the game, some nerves were there and it’s a new atmosphere for a lot of these players, so after their goal, we calmed down and played our game.”

U.S. Defender and Woman of the Match CRYSTAL DUNN
On the match:
“We kept our heads up after the goal. We knew it was early in the game and the fight was there for the entire game. We just have to bring that fight to the next game, but connect our passes a little better and sharpen up our finishing and we’ll be fine.”