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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Reyna: We were lucky
America's Cobi Jones (right) hugs Brad Friedel
USA'a players celebrate despite suffering defeat
USA captain Claudio Reyna conceded that his side were lucky to qualify for the World Cup's second round after losing 3-1 to Poland in their final group D match on Friday.

The USA looked to be on their way out of the competition but they were saved by South Korea's surprise 1-0 win over Portugal, who crashed out.

"We're lucky, we owe Korea a little bit of thanks but a lot of teams get through with four points," he said.

Open Quote
I was disappointed by the result but I must give the Polish team credit - our guys never quit and played well for parts of the game
Close Quote
USA coach Bruce Arena

"In the past we've been unlucky sometimes and I think overall we deserve to get through.

"We're through to the second round because of their result, not because of what we did. We needed a point today and we couldn't do it. We owe them a big favour because they went out and won.

"We're not happy with the way we were beaten today but we'll take it."

American coach Bruce Arena admitted that his side now face a tricky task against Mexico on Monday.

USA's Earnie Stewart (left) and Frankie Hejduk
US players breathe a sigh of relief after Korea's win

"We know Mexico very well, they are an outstanding team and will be very difficult opponents on Monday," he said.

"They nearly came through their group with a perfect record and that shows what a good team they are.

"But it has already been a very surprising tournament and I'm sure there will be a few more surprises along the way.

"We now have 72 hours to get our players mentally and physically ready to play against a very difficult team."

"It has already been a very surprising tournament and I'm sure there will be a few more surprises along the way."

Arena paid credit to Poland for their performance against his side, who collected four points in group D from a surprise 3-2 win over Portugal and a 1-1 draw with South Korea.

"I was disappointed by the result but I must give the Polish team credit," he said.

"Our guys never quit and played well for parts of the game."


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GROUP D
  P GD PTS
SOUTH KOREA 3 +3 7
USA 3 -1 4
PORTUGAL 3 +2 3
POLAND 3 -4 3




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