US and Portugal do battle for qualifying berth

The US will do battle in the blistering heat of Manaus in a game which will will likely determine the fate of both teams.  One piece of good news in the Portugal camp, seems that Portugal’s superstar and best player on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo is fully fit and he will be roaring in Manaus.  It will be up to Klinnsmann and his management team to devise a strategy in how to contain the world’s best player.

The moment of truth will finally be here with the US. They U.S. has been preparing for this moment since it first gathered in Stanford, California, five weeks ago to begin training camp. It will be not considered as an excuse should the US lose, as  unlike Italy manager Cesare Prandelli, who has brought up the weather at almost every opportunity over the last two weeks, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann remained unconcerned.

“I think we are very well prepared for this climate here in Manaus,” he said at Saturday’s news conference.  Anyway, in qualifying, the closest conditions which the US has encountered ould have been the memorable away game in the outskirts of Panama City, where the team has fond memories, with winning 2-1 with both goals coming in the last minute of that game. The conditions in Manaus will be exactly the same, with high temperatures and high humidity, up to 80%, but Klinnsmann can bank of the experience of dealing with it.  Similiar conditions have also been encountered in Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico.

Judging from yesterday’s performance of Ghana against group favorites Germany, the US must be smiling as the draw is a favourable result. This means that Portugal have to obtain a result out of today’s game to have a glimmer of hope to qualify.

All in all, we expect a good and keenly contested game in the heat of Manaus. USA will push Portugal all the way and will be banking on some Dempsey magic to knick them through the group. It should be a great game and hopefully it will be a great advertisement for soccer in the US.




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