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Post-Match Quotes: U.S. Women's National Team 4, Costa Rica 0

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On the match:
“This was a very interesting game where nobody played good soccer in the first half, except for LePeilbet and Christie Rampone. Everyone was a little bit off and it’s hard to pick up the pace and rhythm. These things happen, but it’s important to do the right things at halftime, so I told the team to relax, that we had 45 minutes. It’s a little frantic when we don’t score a goal early, but we have to get used to that because we will play many games where it is 0-0 at halftime and we have to deal with that emotionally.”

On the match:
“It was a difficult match. In the first half, Costa Rica did a very good job defending and creating problems for us. It felt a little hectic out there. At halftime, we asked them to pick up the pace and rhythm and I think we did. Eventually we gained some confidence by being successful in keeping possession.”

On scoring three goals in the second half:
“We coach each other and have faith in each other that we will play 90 minutes and after 90 minutes we will win the game.”

On spreading around the minutes in the three Group games:
“Everybody got a chance to play and I think we have fresh legs going into the semifinal, but I am also very happy with the way players came off the bench to make a difference. If you look at Alex Morgan, she changed the attacking attitude a little bit and that’s important.”

On being up just 1-0 at halftime:
“It was tough out there in the first 45 minutes and that’s good. It’s good to feel like we are under pressure a little bit because this was nothing as compared to the next game, the semifinal, where it really matters. If we win the next game, we qualify for the World Cup and that kind of atmosphere going into that game, it’s important to deal with that feeling and keep the composure and play the kind of soccer we can play.”

On if she prefers to play Mexico or Canada:
“I have no preference. They are both good teams with a lot of fight. I just love games that matter.”

U.S. defender Christie Rampone
On the first round:
We scored a lot goals and had no goals against, so that was a positive. We’ve gotten better as the tournament’s gone on, but we still need to raise the level in order to advance out of the semifinals.”

On the match:
“They were man-marking in the middle, which you don’t really see at this level very much, so the middle was crowded. Once we opened it up and started striking our long balls a little bit better and using the pace of the ball, that changed the game for us. Once we got that first goal, things started opening up. We just have to show some more patience. Sometimes you get that anxiety that you just want to go forward against a team like this because there are so many opening spaces to get into, but it’s really about playing our game, finding a rhythm, changing the point of attack and going to goal when it’s on.”

U.S. midfielder Lori Lindsey
On the match:
“They pressured us hard at the beginning and they were on us nipping at our heels, so they made it difficult. We started doing better in the second half. We started hitting some balls over the top, kind of stretching them out a little bit, and going wide was on quite a bit more. We hit some good crosses and got some good goals.”

U.S. forward Lauren Cheney:
On the match:
“They put a lot of pressure on us, so if we took a bad touch, which was happening in the first half, they were able to close us and disrupt it a little bit. In the second half, we found the rhythm, our midfielders started to play, they got stretched and then the game started to break down for them.”

On her goal:
“It was good to score. You felt it coming, we had so many opportunities, so it was fun to put one away and we had many more opportunities after that.”