Down 1-0 midway through the first half is not the situation the U.S. Men’s National Team wanted to be in at home against El Salvador.
It didn’t take long for the team to respond as Clint Dempsey was able to tie the game just under ten minutes after Cristian Castillo’s opener.
Despite the quick response and generally strong performance after the lead was taken, Dempsey isn’t convinced it was the team’s best showing.
“We’ve always done well at home, so that’s a positive we take going forward,” said the midfielder following the match. “We’d like to play better than we did tonight, we started off a little bit slow. In the end, we pulled it together and I thought we deserved to win.”
Fellow middle man Benny Feilhaber admitted games like this can go any way and that his side deserves credit for fighting back so vehemently.
“Obviously, games can go either way,” said Feilhaber of qualifiers such as this. “When they get a goal against the run of play, I think we were playing a bit better than them. These types of games can go either way. We could have won 3-0 if we got the first goal, but the important part is to just get the win.”
Both of the United States’ goals were set up by Landon Donovan, a player that Feilhaber was quick to praise given his huge impact on the match. They scored two, and it could have been more from Donovan’s excellent service.
“A couple of great balls for the goals,” said Feilhaber of Donovan’s impact. “I think he had a couple of other balls that we could have scored on, so I think Landon’s service is a real important part of our game because he’s obviously going to get into those wide positions. If he can put the ball in good spots then we are going to have good chances.”
The game was a huge win for the United States both mentally and in the standings as they are now in a reasonably comfortable position atop the Hexagonal group. With three matches left, the team is all but guaranteed a spot between first and fourth.
Shane Evans, Goal.com
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