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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK

Voeller fears confident USA

German coach Rudi Voeller has warned his team to guard against complacency ahead of their quarter-final against the USA.

Voeller watched as the USA upset the odds by beating Mexico 2-0 to secure their place in Friday's encounter in Ulsan.

" No-one expected the USA to get this far and they're really on a roll "
Rudi Voeller

The match was the first the USA have completed at a World Cup finals without conceding since they beat England in 1950.

And Friday's match will be the USA's first World Cup quarter-final tie since 1930.

But Voeller is taking nothing for granted as he plots his team's route to the semi-final.

"The Mexicans played better but the United States took the lead early," said Voeller.

"The Americans were dangerous on the counter-attack and they kept going until the end.

"We're going to have to take our chances. No-one expected them to get this far and they're really on a roll.

"Their confidence is going to be high."

Germany convincingly defeated the USA 4-2 in a friendly earlier this year - but Voeller is adamant this counts for nothing when compared to a World Cup fixture.

"That was a friendly this will be different," said the coach.

"We know that we will have to play better than we did in the second round against Paraguay if want to get to the semi-finals."

Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is also keen to play down the significance of March's friendly encounter.

"The win might give us a tiny psychological advantage, but this is the World Cup," said Kahn.

"The Americans are a strong side, with big, strong physical players.

"But we're in good shape and the atmosphere within the squad is good.

"We've got to be extremely careful not to be knocked out like we were in 1994 and 1998," he said, referring to Germany's quarter-final exits at the last two World Cups.

Voeller hits back

Meanwhile, Voeller has said that he is tired of the criticism his team have received following their lacklustre display in narrowly overcoming Paraguay in the second round.

"I was the first to say that we didn't play that well but some of the things that have been said were a bit over the top," said Voeller.

"There are many teams here who have not played better than we have. We have nothing to be ashamed of."

"What has been written, in particular in the international press, was not always fair.

"The expectations we had coming here and the fact that we had three players suspended should have taken into consideration."


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