U.S. World Cup Run Ends After 1-0 Quarterfinal Loss To Germany
June 21, 2002
Ulsan, Korea - The U.S. Soccer Team saw its run in the World Cup end in the quarterfinals after a 1-0 loss to Germany Friday.
German midfielder Michael Ballack scored on a header off a free kick in the 39th minute to produce the only score of the game, and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn twice came up with diving saves in the first half to stop a U.S. attack from Landon Donovan. Former Bruin Eddie Lewis (1992-95) also had a 20-yard shot in the first half stopped by Kahn.
The U.S., which had the majority of the possessions and chances, nearly tied the score four minutes into the second half when a shot by Gregg Berhalter bounced off Kahn and hit the left arm of defender Torsten Frings on the goal line. The referee ruled it neither a goal nor a handball and instead awarded Germany a free kick.
In stoppage time with just a few seconds left in the game, Tony Sanneh came within a foot of scoring, but his header hit the side of the net, and moments later, a Clint Mathis hard shot in the penalty box was blocked.
Despite the loss, the U.S. made its best showing in the World Cup since 1930. Four years ago, it lost all three of its games and finished last.
'It's been incredible. We have had a great ride,' said former UCLA goalkeeper Brad Friedel (1990-92). 'The satisfying thing is we can go home knowing that we probably could have gone a little further. It's frustrating but satisfying knowing we never once got played off the park over here. We can go home with our heads held high.'
'If you look over the past four years, and think about the opening game in the 1998 World Cup, and the form the US team had against Germany and where we have come to today, I think we have made a lot of progress,' said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. 'I'm really proud of our team and we were a little bit unlucky, because if we got a break or two, either way we may be in the semi-finals of the World Cup.'
All five former UCLA players saw action in the 2002 World Cup. Friedel started all five games in goal for the U.S. and twice earned Man of the Match honors. Frankie Hejduk (1992-94) started four games, and Lewis started the final two and also played against Korea. Cobi Jones (1988-91) came off the bench in each game and set, along with Earnie Stewart, a new U.S. record for World Cup appearances with 11. Joe-Max Moore (1990-92) was slowed by an injury and played in two games.