Klinsmann still a perfect starter but sees U.S. flaws

Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:41am EDT
 
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By Michael Kahn

NATAL Brazil (Reuters) - Juergen Klinsmann extended his perfect record in opening World Cup matches when the United States beat Ghana 2-1 on Monday but after their late winner he was more concerned with the flaws exposed in his team.

Clint Dempsey's early goal gave the U.S. the perfect start and, after Andre Ayew equalized for Ghana, John Brooks powered home an 86th-minute header to grab the win and maintain the coach's 100 percent record in World Cup openers.

The 49-year-old, a World Cup winner with West Germany in 1990, said his captain's strike, officially timed at 29 seconds after kickoff, had perhaps come too early.

"The whole bench was jumping around," he said. "If you score after just a minute you think there can't be anything better than that.

"After that it maybe wasn't so good because we sat back and let them come to us, that is why I was screaming on the sideline to take control of the game. We had problems controlling the ball and making passes."

Klinsmann said he always believed the U.S. would win even when Ghana equalized but knows they will have to improve some aspects of their game for the Group G games with Portugal and Germany.

"It was a very enjoyable moment when the goal came, when a late goal like this happens then you see a bench jumping up full of joy and excitement," he said.

"(But) the match showed us a lot of areas we have to do better for the second game. We gave too much of the game to Ghana. We will take all those pieces and analyze them and show the players."   Continued...

 
U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann stands behind the linesman's flag. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini