(Soccer365) Fresh from being ousted from the Summer Olympics with a 2-1 loss to Nigeria, U.S. boss Piotr Nowak was left to ponder what might have been had defender Michael Orozco not been sent off after just three minutes.
The Americans grabbed a late lead slicer through Sacha Kljestan’s spot kick and nearly saved their Olympic run when a last minute Charlie Davies header hit the crossbar, but the 2-0 hole was too deep to climb out of.
“It was extremely difficult when the line-up had to be reshaped,” Nowak told reporters. “It is a disappointing outcome for us as things could have been so different.”
“Only in the last game against Netherlands, we were so close to qualifying for the quarterfinals, and even today it was a close game.”
“But those guys are my boys and they played so hard,” he added. “For me, they went into battle tonight and they have improved on the international stage.”
“In my heart, the boys won the gold medal.”