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Postgame from Qinhuangdao
August 6th, 2008 5:15PM
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The U.S. players talked about the nightmarish first four minutes and the plays that led to Norway's two goals -- a difficult cross from the left and Kate Markgraf's horrendous backpass ...

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On the match:
"My glass is always half full. For us, it is a new experience to lose a game and the fact we tried to turn around and create some chances in the second half is positive. I'm happy that this is the first game and not the last. We still have two more games to go. We will take the good part of the second half going forward to play against Japan and New Zealand."

On the match and the USA's effort in the second half:
"This was a crazy game with us giving up two goals at the beginning of the game, but then we bounced back. In the second half, we made some tactical changes, tried three in the back, and tried certain things. The effort of the players is the reason we will be successful and we still have a chance to win a gold medal."

On looking forward to the next match:
"We have a choice right now. You can imagine (what it can do to a team) to give up two early goals playing in your first game. What is very important is to keep our style and that is something we as coaches will emphasize. We can look at bad things, and we will adjust, but also look at good parts in the game where we created chances and where we kept possession and played pretty good soccer. That is the choice that we have and we will look at positive things."

On the two quick goals:
"The first goal is some sort of competition in the air, and of course, I would love to see that we could deal with that situation better. But that's good attacking by Norway. The second goal we gave away the ball. You can call it mistakes, but we bounced back from that and created many chances."

U.S. defender Christie Rampone
On the match:
"We had a lot of great attacking moments in the second half, but I think our timing was just a little bit off. Luck plays a little bit of a factor, but I'd rather see us have some better timing and bring that to the second game so that some of those crosses will be in the back of the net."

"Norway are great competitors and we have a lot of respect for them. It was just unfortunate that they got two early goals on us. Our team bounced back and there were some good moments. We just have to take the positives and lucky for us, it was the first game."

On the team's mood after the match:
"Our heads are up. We have to take away the positives from that game and move on. We can't dwell on this game. We have the next game against Japan and that's what we have to look forward to. I have confidence in this team and know we'll bounce back."

U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx
On the match:
"It was bad that we gave up two goals early, but the rest of the game we were fighting and pushing to get those two goals back. We have to go back and see the good things that we did, because I think we did some good things and had some opportunities, we just didn't finish them."

On giving up two early goals:
"You can't do that in this tournament. We came out a bit flat and we've learned from that. We have two more games and we're going to come out a lot stronger."

On the leadership it will take to make the quarterfinals:
"It comes from the veterans that have been in the Olympics before and have seen it takes more than just one game. We've seen you can lose just one game and come back and move on. We've told everybody that ... we are going to come back stronger against Japan and we know we have to win."

U.S. midfielder Heather O'Reilly
On the match:
"At the start of the game, we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized. I think that we mentally came back from a 2-0 deficit really strong and confident. We kept our heads the entire game and had great leadership the entire game. It's tough when you go down two goals in the first couple of minutes. I think it was nerves a little bit."

On the two early goals:
"The first goal was a difficult cross. You can tell if a cross is good if it makes a goalkeeper guess to come out or not and that's exactly what that cross was. It's just unfortunate with Hope Solo and Lori Chalupny colliding like that. Really, it was two unfortunate errors on our part and we showed some bravery and courage to push on."

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo
On the first goal:
"That's the life of a goalkeeper. It's about decisions. It was a pretty well-placed ball where I was forced to make a decision, come or go. I came and she beat me to it."

On bouncing back against Japan:
"There were a lot of nerves. It was our first Olympic game, but we had some glimpses of brilliance. You could see the potential out there. I think we are going to come back stronger. I'm not just saying that to say it. You felt the energy out there after the game. No one hung their heads. I think we're getting this one out of the way. The nerves will be gone now."

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf:
On bouncing back in the next two matches:
"Norway lost in the first game in 2000 and came back and won in the finals. That's the great thing about the Olympics. You always have second chances in the round-robin play. We just have to take care of business and have great games against Japan and New Zealand. We believe we can do it."

On the two early goals:
"The first goal they played a good ball in unfortunately it didn't bounce our way. The second goal was totally my fault. I didn't play the ball back hard enough to Hope (Solo) and I didn't see the player either. So, it was totally an error that didn't need to happen and didn't help our situation as we were already a goal down."

On the competition getting tougher in the Olympics:
"Once you hit the Olympics, friendlies don't matter. People turn up their game a notch and take advantage of mistakes and that's exactly what they did. We had two mistakes and they capitalized."

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