U.S. declared World Cup-ready Germany's victory caps 'test' tourney

June 20, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

PONTIAC, Mich. -- The test run had just been completed, and Sunil Gulati wanted to share his enthusiasm with the rest of the world.

"Bring on World Cup '94," said Gulati, chairman of U.S. Cup '93 and World Cup vice president. "The interest in soccer has been started, now we just have to maintain it. It's easier to maintain than to get it started."

Forward Jurgen Klinsmann scored at the 53rd minute to lead Germany past England, 2-1, and win the U.S. Cup '93 title yesterday before a crowd of 62,126 -- the largest for a soccer game in the United States since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics -- at the Silverdome.

But this was more than just a game to conclude the four-nation, two-week, six-game tournament. This was about the World Cup, which the United States will play host to for the first time at this time next year.

Gulati estimated the U.S. Cup tournament made a profit of $1.7 )) million. He pointed to crowds of more than 50,000 for three games and of 45,000 for another.

"I don't know of any World Cup tournament that averaged 50,000 a game," said Gulati. "This just shows people are excited about what is happening here."

Both World Cup organizers and coaches and players from both England and Germany were impressed with the newly transplanted grass field at the Silverdome. It was the first international game played indoors.

The grass, 65 percent Kentucky bluegrass mixed with 35 percent ryegrass, was trucked in from Southern California and planted at the Silverdome nearly a week ago.

If the experiment did not succeed, World Cup organizers might have had to look for another venue to go with the eight that already had been selected as World Cup sites.

"This is what we expected. It held up well, and this is a dream come true," said Dr. Trey Rogers, developer of the natural grass surface. "We have three more games to play on it, to simulate next year's World Cup schedule. But right now, everybody associated with it is thrilled."

But there may be some kinks to work out.

"The grass was perfect, maybe a little dry," said Klinsmann. "Next year maybe water it a little bit before the match. It was quite humid inside. There is a nice popcorn taste in the stadium, you could feel the popcorns around."

Said English goalkeeper Nigel Martyn: "Occasionally, we would lose the ball in the lights. But this was great. It was a magnificent stadium to play in, and the crowd made a lot of noise. This game had a special meaning -- indoors and against Germany."

Germany dominated the game with its relentless offensive pressure. Midfielder Stefan Effenberg gave Germany a 1-0 lead at the 26th minute.

Fellow midfielder Lothar Matthaus chipped a pass to Effenberg outside the penalty area, and after Effenberg faked out England's Gary Pallister, he scored on an 11-yard, right-footed shot that ricocheted off Martyn's leg.

Five minutes later, England tied the score at 1 on a perfect three-touch play involving midfielders David Platt, Paul Ince and John Barnes. Ince started the sequence with a give-and-go pass to Barnes 10 yards from the left post. Ince got the ball back from Barnes, then sent a crossing pass to Platt, who scored from the right side.

Klinsmann's goal came off a rebound of teammate Christian Ziege's shot that struck the left post.

England 1 0 -- 1

Germany 1 1 -- 2

U.S. CUP '93

FINAL STANDINGS

Team.. .. ..W.. ...L.. ...T.. ..GF.. ...GA.. ...Pts

Germany.. ..2.. ...0 .. ..1 .. ..9 .. ...7 .. .. .5

Brazil.. ...1 .. ..0.. ...2.. ...6 .. ...4 .. .. .4

U.S. .. .. .1 .. ..2 .. ..0 .. ..5 .. ...6 .. .. .2

England .. .0 .. ..2 .. ..1 .. ..2 .. ...5 .. .. .1

RESULTS

Yesterday (at Pontiac, Mich.)

Germany 2, England 1

Previous games

Brazil 2, United States 0

United States 2, England 0

Brazil 3, Germany 3

Germany 4, United States 3

England 1, Brazil 1

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