U.S. men’s soccer coach Juergen Klinsmann isn’t considering a convenient draw Thursday against Germany that would advance both teams to the World Cup’s knockout round. (Reuters)
United States coach Juergen Klinsmann says there is no question of a convenient draw between his team and Germany in the final Group G game on Thursday.
Both Klinsmann’s current team and his former national side would qualify to the second round with a point, and the situation has prompted some to recall an infamous game from the 1982 World Cup.
In that game West Germany and Austria knew that a one or two goal victory for the Germans would see them both progress at the expense of Algeria, who had played their last game earlier.
West Germany won 1-0 with little effort to score made by either side after Horst Hrubesch put the Germans ahead after ten minutes.
The game, which was widely condemned, prompted FIFA to switch to simultaneous kick-offs for the final round of group games.
“I think you’re talking about a game that is decades away that is only part of Germany’s history and not the United States. The United States is known to give everything they have in every single game,” said Klinsmann, when asked by a reporter if there was a chance of a repeat.
Germany coach Joachim Loew was Klinsmann’s assistant coach when he led his country of birth to third place as hosts at the 2006 World Cup.
But Klinsmann said the two were not going to talk in the run-up to Thursday’s game in Recife.
“There will be no such call. We are good friends, but we are both here to do our jobs. There is no time right now to have friendship calls,” he said.
Klinsmann noted that the United States had gone into their final CONCACAF World Cup qualifier last year having already qualified but scored twice in stoppage time to win 3-2 in Panama — knocking out their opponents from the playoff spot and allowing rivals Mexico to get into that slot — from which they qualified.
“We have that fighting spirit and that energy, that determination to do well in every single game. So, we’re going to go into Recife very ambitious with a lot of confidence to beat Germany,” Klinsmann said. “This is our goal. Then we’ll see what happens on the field. I’m actually pretty confident that we’re going to get a good game there.”
While a point would serve both teams, Klinsmann said that the U.S. and Germany would be keen to win and secure top spot in the group with a potentially easier second round game.
“I don’t think we are made for draws, except if it happens like (in the 2-2 draw with Portugal on Sunday) — a late goal in the last seconds.
“I think both teams want to win the group. We want to go into this game, recover fast and go at Germany, get three points and have seven points on our side and be in the driver’s seat for the Round of 16. That is our goal.”