After racking up three straight wins and 11 goals with just one conceded, Germany will set out to secure a quarter-final berth at Mexico 2011 with confidence sky high. They made light work of a section well within their reach, but must guard against complacency now. Yet to test themselves against anything like the calibre of opponent as the United States, the Europeans will need to approach their meeting in the right frame of mind.
The Stars and Stripes boast vast experience at this level, having contested every edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup so far. Indeed, their pedigree was a vital factor in their qualification for the knockout phase, after the euphoria of their 3-0 opening defeat of the Czech Republic was wiped out by a 2-1 loss to Uzbekistan. Wilmer Cabrera’s troops subsequently held their nerve to record a goalless stalemate with New Zealand that sealed their last-16 spot. Perhaps significantly they can claim to have luck on their side too, after they pipped the Kiwis to second place in Group D following the drawing of lots.
“The USA’s defence is very compact and organised and they also have individual class in the attacking positions. This will be a tough game for us, but I am looking forward to it because it will be a meeting between two strong teams. The fans are in for a treat,” Steffen Freund, Germany coach.
"After what I saw this evening, we deserve to be in the next round. We can even hope to go further than that. We realise that the Mexican supporters aren’t behind us. That’s normal; there’s a rivalry between us. It’s something that the players have to learn to cope with,” Wilmer Cabrera, USA coach.