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The USA will look to seal a place in the world cup quarter-finals when they on dark horses Belgium in the second round later today.
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Jurgen Klinsmann have already exceeded expectations after coming out of a group that contained Portugal, Ghana and Germany. An opening day win over Ghana followed by a 2-2 draw with the Portuguese was enough to secure second place in the group.
The furrow over the exclusion of Landon Donavan has now being consigned to the past after reaching the knock out phases for the second tournament in a row, the first time they have achieved this.
Having proved themselves once more on an international stage, Klinsmann wants his side to go another step and emulate the US side that reached the last 8 in 2002.
“Going into the knockout stage you need to have a team ready to go the extra mile,” he said ahead of the game. “Every single player needs to be ready to go 120 minutes and possibly a penalty shooutout, so it is very very demanding.
“It’s the most extreme version you can have as a player going into those games, but that’s what we’re looking forward to, that’s why we worked very hard to build a foundation for this moment.
“A lot of the games are decided in the last minutes, some are in penalty shootouts, hopefully we have everything in our legs to go 120 minutes if necessary.
“I’m very positive we have a good foundation for getting everything out of Belgium.
“The better team should win and go forward, but we’re doing well, we feel fresh, we feel recovered quickly, we have a great spirit and it feels like we just started this adventure.
“We are hungry, hungry for more, and we want to prove that to the best of our capabilities tomorrow night.”
Belgium meanwhile failed to impress in the group stages despite winning all three games. An opening day 1-0 win over Russia was followed by a 2-1 win over Algeria and a 1-0 win over Korea. All three wins were secured by goals in the final 12 minutes showing the resilience within the Belgian squad.
Marc Wilmots has some worries with Thomas Vermaelen out and skipper Vincent Kompany struggling with an abdominal strain. Midfielder Steven Defour will also be unavailable through suspension however Marouane Fellaini will be fit to play after a slight calf injury sustained in training.
The USA will be hoping to have main striker Jozy Altidore back in their ranks. The Sunderland striker missed the games with Portugal and Germany with a hamstring injury.