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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 4 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Feb 12, 2009

Time running out for Sven as Mexico crash

Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted time was not on his side after his Mexico team lost 2-0 to the United States in a World Cup qualifier in Columbus. The Swede was under pressure prior to the game in Ohio after his first five matches in charge yielded only one win and the latest loss will have done little to enhance his job prospects.

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Michael Bradley did the damage with two goals either side of Mexico's Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez seeing red for a reckless challenge on home keeper Tim Howard.

Afterwards, Eriksson, who has been linked with the vacancy at Premier League strugglers Portsmouth, conceded the heat was now on.

He said: "Football is a big sport and, face it, sometimes it's not a friend of patience," Eriksson said. "But I'm optimistic because I think we have a good team. We have to score goals - that's our biggest problem.

"It's difficult when it's 10 on 11, but I think our team showed a lot of character. And that's good for the future."

The game was keenly contested and feelings spilt over after the final whistle when USA defender Frankie Hejduk and Mexico assistant coach Jesus Ramirez become embroiled in a scuffle which required police intervention.

"There was a lot of emotion before, during and after the game," Hejduk said.

"There were some words said, they thought I said something that I didn't say - and I received a little love tap from someone. It got me on the top of the head but I'm fine."

Marquez was repentant following his dismissal.

"I am here to ask for public forgiveness," Marquez said in a press conference.

"I've already asked the same from my team-mates, the coaching staff and the federation, and now I want to apologise publicly to my fans, my country and the media for my conduct. I made an error and threw away all the hard work we had put in all week."

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