Houston, June 22 (IANS) United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann admitted that Argentina were the better team after his side were handed a 4-0 drubbing in the Copa America semi-finals.
A brace from Gonzalo Higuain and a strike each from Ezequiel Lavezzi and the talismanic Lionel Messi sealed the deal for Argentina as they ousted the hosts from the competition on Tuesday night.
“You saw tonight why they are the No. 1 team in the world,” Klinsmann was quoted as saying by ESPNFC on Wednesday.
“We just simply hit a far better team tonight.”
It was Lavezzi who opened the scoring and once they were in the lead, the visitors tightened their defence further which gave the US almost no chance to make a comeback.
“Once they have a lead, they’re not giving that lead away,” Klinsmann said.
“They know exactly how to organize themselves behind the ball quickly. They pressure high right away when you are in possession of the ball — that’s why we pretty much didn’t have any chance to score.”
Klinsman, who had won the 1990 World Cup as a player with his native Germany, also said the first goal might have been the turning point in the game as it made the hosts believe Argentina were superior to them.
“I think it had to do a bit with the early goal,” he said.
“That early goal, I think our players could just feel that, probably in every position on the field, they’re just better than we are.”