Arena proud of players
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
USA coach Bruce Arena was proud of his players' exertions against Italy.
USA coach Bruce Arena was understandably proud of his players' exertions after they ground out a 1-1 draw with Italy, despite being reduced to nine men for much of the second half.
In what was an often fiery clash in Kaiserslautern, Italy had Daniele De Rossi dismissed for a wild elbow on Brian McBride before USA saw Pablo Mastroeni swiftly followed off the field by Eddie Pope.
Despite being at a numerical disadvantage, Arena's side were valiant in their efforts in securing a point that keeps alive their World Cup aspirations.
Arena feels match official Jorge Larrionda was over-zealous in his dishing out of both yellow and red cards but overall, was content with his side's exertions.
"Two red cards in the spread of five minutes is pretty harsh and I respect the team for the way they dealt with it," he said.
"There is no way you can train a team to play 10 against nine for 30-something minutes. A lot of teams would use it as an excuse for losing on the day.
"We are where we wanted to be going into the third round of matches, perhaps four points will be enough to get out of this group."
Arena was far from enamoured with Italian midfielder De Rossi and was quick to condemn his dangerous and petulant challenge on McBride.
"It was a vicious elbow and it could have broken his face," he added.
"Once the first red card was shown, sometimes you get the feeling that things will be evened up, but it came pretty quickly."