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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. U-17 WNT 1, Mexico 0

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team Head Coach Kazbek Tambi

On the match vs. Mexico:
“It was a great game. Mexico came out and gave us a run for our money, obviously. We had some chances, maybe, that we could have put away earlier in the match, especially in the first half, maybe would have made it a little bit easier. The longer the game went with us missing chances upon chances, the stronger Mexico felt about their chances of pulling off the upset here. But we’re thrilled that we were able to pull it out after 90 minutes.”

On whether he expected Mexico to play the way that they did:
“We knew that they were going to be great. Mexico has a great soccer tradition. Their girls play similar to their men in terms of having a very possession oriented and technical game. We knew that. The key for us was to play our game and get the better of them. We did create the chances, I felt, to score some goals but, unfortunately, we didn’t put them away. Again, that Mexico some life and the longer the game goes 0-0, I think the better they start to feel about themselves. For them, the result sometimes can be in doubt. But I’m thrilled that our kids kept attacking and we weren’t looking for overtime. In fact, on the goal that we scored, Crystal Dunn, is a defender who is not typically involved in our corner kick situations, we had her go in the box, too, just to throw an extra player in there. She ended up scoring the goal.”

On the team's mentality going into halftime:
“Up until now we’ve had some lopsided scores. Today was unusual in that we got into halftime at 0-0. The players talked to each other and we gave them some insight as to what they could do to be a little bit sharper. But the bottom line is that we said we have to keep going forward, keep attacking and keep moving the ball fast, and sooner or later we would get our goal. Better later than never.”

On whether he will be looking at new players before the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup:
“We definitely keep an open door until we have to make our final selection deadline. We have a lot of great players back in the States who weren’t a part of this group. We had a tough decision making process to narrow it down to the group that’s here but we’re going to keep looking at players and there might be some changes between now and them. My idea is that a player who plays for the U.S. (U-17 Women’s ) National Team has to earn her spot every day and every week. Just because you were here for this CONCACAF qualification doesn’t guarantee your spot in the final squad. It’s going to have to be earned between now and the deadline for submitting the World Cup roster.”

On whether the team is looking to win the championship despite already securing a berth to New Zealand:
“Absolutely. We’re thrilled that we pulled this one out. Our mission was to first get through the group. Second mission was to win the semifinals and our ultimate goal is to win the championship. We’re going to be pumped and going to do our homework between now and Sunday and hopefully have our best performance of the week.”

U.S. Under-17 WNT Defender Crystal Dunn

On the match vs. Mexico:
“We usually play a different game and for us to struggle a little bit was a shock. Overall, the U.S., I think that we were pumped and even though the game was going on, it felt like it was dragging and dragging. We’re very excited that we came across with the win.”

On her goal:
“As the ball came across, Sam (Mewis) was in a tackle with another player and she basically toe-poked the ball a little bit and I just happened to be there, just to tuck it away.”

On what she expects in New Zealand:
“Well, I don’t have a definite ticket to New Zealand but I expect the competition to be very hard and all the teams to be fighting to win the championship. It’s going to be a very good challenge and we hope the USA wins.”

On whether the team is looking to win the championship despite already securing a berth to New Zealand:
“Oh yes. And I feel very confident in the U.S. team, even if I’m not part of it. I think us, as a whole, we play very good soccer and I think we can come away with a win.”

U.S. U-17 WNT Forward Victoria DiMartino

On the match vs. Mexico:
“It was a great win. We played our hearts out and it came to the final minute, who wanted it more. We pulled together and we got a win.”

On the team’s mentality on the field:
“We were all rushing. We just didn’t want to go into overtime. We were encouraging each other. I think we were going to score in the final minute. Crystal (Dunn) played her heart out, got up, scored a good goal and just took it away.”

On whether the team is looking to win the championship despite already securing a berth to New Zealand:
“For sure. I think we can do it. We have a great chance.”

U.S. U-17 WNT Defender Amber Brooks

On the match vs. Mexico:
“The first half, I think Mexico had a very good strategy against us. They know that we like to play to our flanks and they kind of shut down that option. At least in the back, we had a lot more time but we didn’t necessarily do the right thing with the ball. I think we were just a little bit off our game in the first half. At halftime, we went in, readjusted, reminded ourselves that we’re the best and we should be confident. We went out in the second half and in the first 10 or 15 minutes, we should have put, probably, three or four away. We had some really good opportunities. I think we panicked a little bit when we didn’t finish those opportunities and, luckily, Crystal was there at the last minute and put us through.”

On looking forward to the Final:
“It’s against Costa Rica and we’ve played them before, so it’s always nice to know how they play. For the most part, they play very good soccer. At the same time, it’s the championship game and they’re going to want it a lot more than, per se, the group game. They’re going to come out really strong. We’re looking forward to it.”

On how it feels to have qualified for the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup:
“It feels great. We’ve all been working towards this but we still want to finish first so we can get into that group that the CONCACAF champion is drawn into. We’re really excited but we still have one more step to go.”