[USA-GHANA REACTION] After a 4-1 loss to Ghana eliminated the USA from the U-20 World Cup in the first round, Coach Tab Ramos said the Ghanaians were even more skillful than the foes from Spain and France.
“We were just as confident in this game as we were against Spain in the first game [a 4-1 loss] and against France [1-1] in the second game,” Ramos said. “We prepared one game at a time. We knew all the teams were going to be difficult. Ghana, I think, player-by-player, is the most skillful team of the three that we were facing. By no means were we thinking that another game was going to be less difficult than the other two.”
Both teams needed a win -- and needed to improve their goal differential -- to have any chance of advancing.
“It was a very difficult match for us,” Ramos said. “It was a game in which we needed goals. We tried to go forward as much as we could, but in the end it became a transition game, and we took goals at the wrong time.
“Even when we got back in the game in the second half at 2-1 we took a corner kick [goal] and they were going forward pretty well. You’re playing good teams here. We knew coming in that we were going to be in a group with three very difficult teams. I think I think we competed, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Americans ended up matching Ghana in possession, but most of their attacks broke down in the final third.
“When we get in front of goal we don’t shoot as much,” Ramos said. “We’re always looking for that extra pass, and as we found out in this tournament I think the teams that are doing well are the teams that are just getting in front of the goal and they take advantage of the opportunities. Even in today’s game, I know we attacked enough to get goals. And yet we didn’t get them. It’s unfortunate for us. I’d have to say we created some opportunities and unfortunately we didn’t get the goals.”
Ramos assessment of the team’s performance in the tournament:
“I’m disappointed that in three games we gave up nine goals. You certainly can’t move on in a World Cup giving up nine goals in three games. But overall, we came here to compete. I think the unfortunate part is in two of the games the results don’t show it. But I think our team showed up and competed in all three games and in a very difficult group against three very difficult teams.”