U.S. men beat Antigua and Barbuda 3-1 in World Cup qualifying | Soccer
Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez scored and the U.S. team beat Antigua and Barbuda 3-1 in its first 2014 World Cup qualifying match.
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TAMPA, Fla. — The United States is off to a successful, though far from perfect, start in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez scored and the U.S. team held off Antigua and Barbuda 3-1 Friday in a match that wound up being closer than the United States had hoped.
Antigua is ranked 105th in the FIFA rankings, 77 spots below the United States.
"The guys know they can step it up, and they will step it up," United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.
Klinsmann insisted his players did not take the opposition lightly.
"There's not the expectation just to kind of overrun Antigua or whatever country maybe that looks kind of weak on a piece of paper. They came here. They played the game — not of their life, but for them it's big time. They gave everything they had," Klinsmann said. "It's important the players understand what they did OK and what was not so OK."
• Russia beat the Czech Republic 4-1 in their European Championship Group A match in Wroclaw, Poland.
In Euro 2012's opening match, co-host Poland and Greece played to a 1-1 draw in Warsaw.