Klins­mann wants an­gry US a

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

UNITED States coach Jur­gen Klins­mann has called for his team to har­ness a sense of anger against Costa Rica as they at­tempt to bounce back to­day after a shat­ter­ing World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tions de­feat to Mex­ico.

Klins­mann’s men suf­fered an ag­o­niz­ing last-gasp loss to Mex­ico in Colum­bus on Novem­ber 11, when Rafa Mar­quez’s 89th-minute header se­cured a dra­matic 2-1 win for ‘El Tri’ at the Mapfre Sta­dium.

The de­feat was a cruel blow for the US in the open­ing round of fi­nal 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers for the CONCACAF (North, Cen­tral Amer­ica and Caribbean) re­gion.

While there re­main plenty of points to play for in the six-na­tion round robin, the US are des­per­ate to avoid los­ing fur­ther ground to Mex­ico and Costa Rica, their big­gest ri­vals for the au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion spots.

The top three fin­ish­ers in the “Hexag­o­nal” qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally for the fi­nals tour­na­ment with the fourth placed team en­ter­ing a play-off.

Klins­mann said his side will need to chan­nel their anger if they are to get a re­sult against the Costa Ri­cans, the 2014 World Cup quar­ter­fi­nal­ists who opened their cam­paign with a 2-0 away win over Trinidad and Tobago on Novem­ber 11.

“We need a sense of anger in all of us and ab­so­lutely a sense of ur­gency, be­cause we don’t want to be be­hind in the group,” Klins­mann said.

“All these qual­i­fy­ing games are nail­biters. They are all dif­fi­cult, and that is what the play­ers are pre­pared for.”

The for­mer Ger­many striker said he had given his team a straight­for­ward mes­sage fol­low­ing the Mex­ico re­sult.

“The mes­sage is sim­ple,” Klins­mann said. “We have got to go there and get a re­sult, which we will do. [Novem­ber 11] was the first of 10 qual­i­fy­ing games. I told the play­ers we are go­ing to cor­rect it in Costa Rica.

“It is just part of the qual­i­fy­ing process. It is a long road over 10 games. It is not a prob­lem but ob­vi­ously it is dis­ap­point­ing.”

US cap­tain Michael Bradley was adamant the team had the re­silience to get back on track against the Costa Ri­cans.

“It’s time for us to re­cover men­tally and phys­i­cally and get ready for a very im­por­tant game [to­day],” Bradley said.

The US suf­fered an in­jury blow against Mex­ico on Novem­ber 11 with goal­keeper Tim Howard in­jur­ing a groin while tak­ing a goal kick. He won’t travel to Costa Rica, with Brad Guzan is likely to start in goal.

Klins­mann mean­while came un­der fire for start­ing the Mex­ico game with an un­fa­mil­iar 3-4-3 tac­ti­cal line-up, which was quickly ditched mid­way through the game in favour of the team’s tra­di­tional 4-4-2.

Mar­quez’s win­ner came after a sec­ond half in which the US had dom­i­nated and were un­lucky not to have scored. Klins­mann said his team’s sec­ond-half per­for­mance in Colum­bus of­fered cause for op­ti­mism against ‘Los Ti­cos’.

“I think if we pick up that sec­ond half and play that way against Costa Rica, I’m not wor­ried [to­day],” Klins­mann said.

In other CONCACAF qual­i­fiers to­day, Panama host Mex­ico while Trinidad & Tobago travel to Hon­duras.

Photo: AFP

Fabian John­son of the United States (right) bat­tles for the ball with Je­sus Corona of Mex­ico dur­ing a World Cup qual­i­fier Novem­ber 11.

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