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World Cup 2014: Jurgen Klinsmann Says US want win, not tie vs Germany

Published on: 23 June 2014
Jurgen Klinsmann

American players still were showering off the sweat from the steamy Amazon night when the first questions about a possible conspiracy were asked: Would the United States and Germany try to play to a tie Thursday that would guarantee World Cup advancement to both nations?

Following Portugal's 95th-minute goal in a 2-2 draw Sunday, the Americans and Germany both have four points. Portugal and Ghana have one apiece.

A draw on Thursday in Recife would clinch first place in Group G for the Germans, who have a superior goal difference, and second for the U.S.

Portugal and Ghana, who play simultaneously in Brasilia, would be eliminated.

Add in that U.S coach Jurgen Klinsmann helped West Germany win its third World Cup title in 1990. And that he coached Germany to third place in the 2006 tournament. And that his top assistant then was Joachim Loew, who is now their homeland's coach.

It's more than enough to send the suspicious into overdrive.

"I don't think that we are made for draws, really, except if it happens like tonight - two late goals, last seconds," Klinsmann said. "I think both teams go into this game and they want to win the group."

Portugal went ahead when Geoff Cameron's wayward clearance gifted Nani a fifth-minute goal, but Jermaine Jones scored in the 64th and Clint Dempsey in the 81st to build a 2-1 lead for the U.S. Then Varela scored on a diving header off a cross from two-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo with 30 seconds left in five minutes of stoppage time.

Now the U.S. may need a point against Germany to advance. The Americans could clinch with a loss, depending on the result of the Portugal-Ghana game.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said deliberately playing for a tie is inconceivable.

"It's not what this team is about, not what this coach is about and it's not what Germany is like," he said.

Some thought back to the 1982 World Cup in Spain, where West Germany opened with a 2-1 loss to Algeria and beat Chile 4-1. Austria defeated Algeria 2-0, then defeated Chile 1-0 on June 24.

When West Germany and Austria played the following day at Gijon's Estadio El Molinon, a German victory by one or two goals would ensure both teams advanced. Horst Hrubesch scored for the West Germans 10 minutes in, and players spent much of the rest of the evening passing to their teammates without threatening the opposing goal.

West Germany won 1-0 and reached the second round along with Austria, while Algeria was eliminated. The game became known as the "Nichtangriffspakt von Gijon (Nonaggression Pact of Gijon)" and "Schande von Gijon (Disgrace of Gijon)."

"You're talking about a game that is decades away that is only part of the Germany history and not the United States," Klinsmann said. "The United States is known to give everything they have in every single game. ... We have that fighting spirit. We have that energy and that determination to do well in every single game."

Klinsmann and Gulati talked about the 2009 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, when the U.S. had already clinched a World Cup berth and Jonathan Bornstein's 95th-minute goal gave the Americans a 2-2 tie that knocked out the Ticos and sent Honduras to the tournament.

And there was last October's game against Panama, a month after the U.S. had clinched. Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson scored in stoppage time for a 3-2 win that knocked out the Panamanians and allowed Mexico to reach a playoff against New Zealand.

Klinsmann dismissed the notion he and Loew would have a conversation before the game.

"There's no such call," he said. "There's no time right now to have friendship calls. It's about business now."

And Jones, who played three games for Germany in 2008 before switching allegiance, said playing for a tie could be dangerous.

"You can have 0-0 or 1-1 close to the end, and then the ball goes in and you're out," he said. "So we don't want that."


This article has 13 comment(s), give your comment
  • Koo Tee says:
    June 23, 2014 10:38 am
    Oh tweaaaaa!! He is not telling the truth.The scores are already fixed
  • Nimo says:
    June 23, 2014 11:36 am
    If the US are concerned about who they're going to meet in the next phase, then I'm sure they'll try to win to avoid a tough team which is highly likely Belgium. But the big question is are they going to stoop low to an uncomfortable Germany by negotiating to draw and finish second even though they are capable of beating Germany and topping the table. But is something fishy going to happen while the game is in play, especially in the latter parts of the game? Asem oo!
  • Jonathan says:
    June 23, 2014 11:40 am
    Liars! we all know the jig is up. But God is not sleeping, we will all watch their plan backfire, Ghana will go through for real, mark my words.
  • millennium says:
    June 23, 2014 11:49 am
    Look dont throw sand in our eyes...your former assistant at press conference following their game with Ghana said he needs a are on record that you will contact Lowe...
  • Shark says:
    June 23, 2014 11:51 am
    What will motivate Germany to beat US and what will motivate US to beat Germany??? Ans: Nothing...
  • Dan says:
    June 23, 2014 11:53 am
    The fact is all the teams in Group G that lost in their first games camped in the US. This is not a sheer coincidence. The two German coaches are not stupid. I suspect spying and sharing of information. By the way, all kudos to Klinsman for turning a mediocre team into a world class. Thanks to Kwesi Appiah for turning a group of fine players into mediocre team.
  • profark says:
    June 23, 2014 11:55 am
    Well I know that although Klinsmann said he wasn't going to have any phone call but both teams are aware of what their chances are but trust my words it would surprise both them that an unexpected goal would kick one them out. It would be either own goal or an unaware goal in the last minute where both teams can not do anything about it. All the same black stars should go all the way out to secure the 4 points in the group by doing their part with about 4 to 5 goals and and the rest would follow......
  • master says:
    June 23, 2014 01:09 pm
    I can think of 2 secondary motives. 1. The fans and lowe's head. The fans want to see a super power. Joachim lowe's head is already on the line. He can't go draw against US, for something to go wrong later on and to be criticized as an incapable coach that couldn't even win against US. Especially to restore their name after drawing against ghana. 2. Miroslav klose, This guy wants to increase his world cup goalscoring record. When he comes on, and that is if he comes on field, the ambition will be great. His team mates are also going to help him do just that. But as i said these are all secondary motives. Should they not care about these things, then blackstars just enjoy your last match. We have already showed that we are capable of opposing any team. Go black stars and God bless!!
  • Emma says:
    June 23, 2014 04:05 pm
    The Germany-USA match will end in a draw 4.
  • GHANSON says:
    June 23, 2014 05:50 pm
    @emma u seem to be clueless about what is going on here.. The matches will be played concurrent and if Ghana manages to score an early goal against Portugal, word will reach the Germans and they will be scared of losing 1 nil to USA.. Germany will then step up their game because even they can be eliminated if we beat Portugal 5 nil and Yankee beats them just by a goal to nil.. so the dynamics will shift as the games progress on Thursday
  • Don says:
    June 23, 2014 06:06 pm
    Germany 1 USA 2!
  • Edward says:
    June 23, 2014 06:33 pm
    The Germans fixed the match in 1982 to eliminate Algeria. What stops them fixing it this time?
  • bill says:
    June 23, 2014 07:41 pm
    Recent Usa Germany relations has been strained bcos of the Americans taping the mobile fon of german councelor Angelina Merkel.I think de Germans wuld want a revenge.Anywae if dey fix de match nd play a draw too,its our Own fault for not takin at least a point from de Usa game.Even if we qualify,belgium wil b waitin