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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Arena angry at De Rossi for elbow
USA coach Bruce Arena
USA coach Bruce Arena hit out at Daniele de Rossi after the Italian's elbow on Brian McBride left the striker needing three stitches under his eye.

The midfielder saw red for the incident, the first of three dismissals in the match, a record-equalling tally.

And Arena said: "It was a vicious elbow and it could have broken his face."

However, Arena also paid tribute to his side after nine men held on for a draw, saying: "I respect the team for the way they dealt with it."

He added: "A lot of teams would use it as an excuse for losing on the day but my boys played with all their heart.

"Under extraordinary circumstances they played exceptionally. I don't think I have ever been in a game that ended with nine playing against 10."

Pablo Mastroeni was dismissed for a late lunge on Andrea Pirlo, while Eddie Pope saw red after two bookings for the US.

We are where we wanted to be going into the third round of matches

Bruce Arena

But Arena refused to criticise the match referee and instead focused on the efforts of his team, particularly skipper Claudio Reyna, Landon Donovan and goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

"Two red cards is pretty harsh. I've never had two players sent off in a game, this is the first time and I hope the only time.

"There is no way you can train a team to play 10 against nine for 30-something minutes. But I'm proud of my team."

"Claudio Reyna has had two great games for us and Landon Donovan made a fantastic effort today, so did all of our midfield.

"And Kasey Keller came up big for us - we never doubted he would."

And the 54-year-old insisted the result left his side ideally placed to qualify from Group E.

"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."

McBride was amazed by the manner in which De Rossi lashed out saying: "I thought he was going to shatter my face."

However, he revealed the midfielder had apologised after the match, an act he described as "classy".

Steve Cherundolo, meanwhile, admitted a fear of being knocked out of the competition drove the Americans to their heroics.

"We had our backs to the wall. We knew if we didn't get a result we'd be out," said the Hannover 96 full-back.

"We wanted to pull something off tonight and show we could do it."

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