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Klinsmann upbeat about future despite US exit

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SALVADOR:Beaten but unbowed, the US exited the World Cup after losing 2-1 to Belgium, but their disappointment was offset by coach Juergen Kilnsmann’s optimism for the future.

HunzaNews, July 3rd, 2014.

The Americans went down 2-1 in an extra-time thriller that ended with both teams’ players running themselves to the point of exhaustion after one of the best matches of the tournament.

“Obviously it’s a bummer for us to end on the losing side,” said Klinsmann. “It was a game which gave everything to the fans, to the crowd. It was real drama, a thriller, we had enough possibilities to equalise the game or even put it away earlier. It was a game that just went to the extreme.”

Klinsmann said he could not have asked for any more from his unheralded players, who defied the odds just to make the round of 16 then held on bravely against a skilful, well-organised Belgium team.

The Europeans attacked the US from the outset, firing a barrage of shots, but were unable to find the net until extra time when Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku scored.

“Every player was at his limits on the field,” said Klinsmann. “We knew sooner or later they would hit the wall.

“All the players today [Wednesday] went beyond their capabilities. I told them in locker room they can take a lot of positives back home after this World Cup.”

However, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said that his side controlled the game.

“We had about 15 chances, we were controlling the game I think it is largely deserved even though at the end we conceded one,” said Wilmots.

“My players reached their limits to qualify. Now the whole of Belgium can celebrate.”

I was nervous, says Messi

Argentina captain Messi bagged his fourth man-of-the-match award in as many games after saving his team once more against Switzerland to secure a 1-0 win.

Messi admitted his side had been affected by nerves as the tension of the occasion got to his team.

“Suffering, that’s what I felt, but now we know we can go through times like this,” said Messi. “Just like everyone else, at times I was nervous because we couldn’t score a goal and any mistake would have put us out of the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, Ottmar Hitzfeld said an emotional goodbye to his Swiss team and football Tuesday as he quit the sport after the loss to Argentina and following the death of his brother.

Despite the personal trauma of losing his brother Winfried, 81, to leukaemia, Hitzfeld very nearly masterminded a seismic upset of Argentina in his last hurrah as coach.

He said the extra-time defeat reminded him of the 1999 Champions League final, when his Bayern Munich team were minutes from victory before Manchester United scored twice.

And Hitzfeld said his ‘heart was full of emotions’ after the Swiss came just two minutes from a penalty shoot-out before Angel Di Maria’s extra-time winner in Sao Paulo.

“These are emotions you can only have with football, that’s why I love football,” he said.

“Switzerland has won a lot of hearts around the world today, that is something that will make us proud.”

 Express Tribune

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