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Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. Costa Rica


Post-Match Quote Sheet
U.S. WNT vs. Costa Rica
CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying
Jan. 27, 2012

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On the match…
“I always say I respect the game and the opposition and this is the proof. You can't take anything for granted. We did score a lot of goals, but Costa Rica, they came out and played well, and played hard. Eventually, we got our three goals, but despite the first goal came quickly, we struggled a little bit. It became an emotional game more so than a tactical one. I have to give credit to the players and those who came off the bench again and changed the game a little bit and we are going to London.”

On the team having a rough patch in the first half…
“When you play games that matter, and this is a semifinal, everyone is a little nervous. But that is a good thing, because if you can deal with that, which we did eventually, you have a better chance to win the next game.”

On what she would like to see improve…
“We gave away the ball way too often. Our movement off the ball was not as good as I hoped and we were stretched out defensively as well. We improved that a little bit in the second half and of course they ran out of gas a little bit and we got the chance to score two more goals.”

On Alex Morgan coming off the bench again to score a goal…
“Seeing Alex Morgan coming off the bench gives us a spark. She believes she can score goals and the team believes she can score goals… I am very happy for her that she scored a goal. It means a lot for her, for me and the team.”

On Kelley O’Hara playing right back for the first time and trying to replace Ali Krieger…
“She has a lot of energy and that fact that Ali Krieger is injured, we are looking at different options in the back. It will be an ongoing coaching to find the back four. You will probably see different set-ups with the back four, not being as consistent as we’ve been previously. At the end of the day, I know it is important to have a back four playing together many minutes. Today, I don’t know who those four will be.”


U.S. Women's National Team forward ABBY WAMBACH
On the win against Costa Rica...
"Well up until now it's the most important game of the year. It qualifies us for the Olympics and it's a great feeling. No matter what the score line is I think everybody could kind of feel how big that game was. In the first half we scored a goal but I think there were moments where Costa Rica was outplaying us. It shows you exactly how important this was to all of us that nobody wanted to make a mistake. Luckily we didn't and kept a clean sheet."

On the U.S. coming out on top despite Costa Rica's pressure in the first half...
"Sometimes under big game circumstances players can get a bit tight, and you just have to deal with that. Costa Rica's a good team, they've got some really crafty players. Cruz is one of the best midfielders in CONCACAF and she proved to be dangerous for their team. They were very energetic on the field and very excited. Credit to them for that. We were playing a bit soft and we fixed that for the second half. We needed to calm down, get possession of the ball and keep the ball on the ground."

On what the team fixed in the second half...
"We were just giving the ball to them and they started to get a little bit of momentum. When you give them that sometimes a team can take control of the game. We wanted to quit that and we wanted to come out in the second half and play hard. We wanted to get stuck into tackles and make something happen. Luckily Carli made something happen on that second goal. It was uplifting for us."

On Alex Morgan's impact as a substitute...
"Alex always brings a spark. When Alex comes on, I'm going to flick on the ball as much as I possibly can because she's so good at getting in behind defenses and so strong on the ball. And I love that left foot of hers."

U.S. Women's National Team defender RACHEL BUEHLER
On the game against Costa Rica...
"Costa Rica played very hard and made it tricky for us at times. I think they put pressure on us and did a good job. There are little things here and there that we can improve but ultimately we got the win and that's what our goal was."

U.S. Women's National Team forward ALEX MORGAN
On coming into the game as a substitute...
"Every game I try to come in and make an impact. We were up 1-0 and that's a very shaky score. I wanted to come in and try to kill the Costa Rican's confidence a bit more by stretching out their backline and making runs. Luckily we got a few more goals after that."

On the team's mindset going into the game and throughout the match with Costa Rica...
"I don't think our mentality changed until the final whistle blew. We knew there were no second chances and we didn't want to take anything for granted. We wanted to keep no goals against and show them we were the best team on the field."

On her goal...
"All my teammates joke that's my signature shot, with the outside of my left foot. It was set up perfectly for me and I'm really happy with it. I looked to cut it back because I had other options and luckily it popped up from the defender's foot kind of like a wall pass to myself. So it sat up perfectly, I saw the keeper going one way and I just flipped it the other way."

On playing with Abby Wambach...
"I love playing with Abby and I think we work really well together. When I come on I can make those runs and she can stay centrally. That's what she's good at and I try to make her job easier. I try to make the team's job easier by stretching out the backline and tiring the defense. That's always my plan coming into the game."     

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