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Post Match Quote Sheet: USA 1, Malawi 0

U.S. U-17 MNT head coach WILMER CABRERA
On tonight’s game:
“For us it was very important to improve on two areas. Defensively we needed to come back after what happened against Spain so we had very solid work covering each other tonight. We also wanted to keep the ball and play. Malawi is a very athletic and very fast, and we thought that moving the ball around would make them work harder and give us more opportunities.”

On missing goal scoring opportunities:
“I think we created opportunities, but we have to finish those. If you make good chances and don’t score then you are giving motivation to the other team. Malawi was well organized, they were working hard and working together to contain our forwards. When we did have good opportunities we didn’t finish. We had a lot of chances in our first two games.”

On the opponent:
“Today was a tough game, we were both motivated teams on the field. The United States record against African teams isn’t so good. But today we moved the ball and worked hard and we got the goal we needed. Now we have a chance to move to the next stage, and now we have to focus on UAE because that is a very important game for us.”

U.S. midfielder ALEX SHINSKY:
On the match and his goal:
“It was a really important match for us, and it feels great to have scored an important goal. It was a bit surprising to see it go in the back of the net, but when the ball was in the air I was just focusing on hitting the ball. A little luck was on my side, so that felt good. A goal is a goal and I was really happy about it.”

On the next game against UAE:
“Obviously it’s a very important game and we’re going to come out and play as good as we can. There is a lot at stake so we’re going to try to work hard and bring our best game.”

On the people of Kano:
“Everyone has been so nice. Things are well organized and it’s nice to see people waving. They are so friendly to us and it’s been a great experience for us to be here.”

U.S. defender TYLER POLAK:
On 18 offsides calls that went against Malawi:
“It’s not really something that we work on, but I think once it starts happening then it’s something we’re aware of. Tonight I think our line worked to our advantage.”

On joining the attack frequently:
“To win we have to take risks. For us that’s moving forward and leaving the back four, but that’s what we have to do. Usually Jared, or whoever our center backs are, do a really good job of talking to us, and they did a really good job of that tonight.”