Podolksi praises US fighting spirit

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Germany forward Lukas Podolski has praised the United States' fighting spirit after the Europeans' 1-0 victory over Juergen Klinsmann's team on Thursday.

The result at Arena Pernambuco secured Germany top spot in the World Cup's Group G while the USA finished second, ahead of Portugal on goal difference.

"They (the US) should be happy to finish second and get through to the next round," Podolski said.

"This is a great victory for the US. Most people predicted Germany and Portugal to finish first and second. But the US showed a lot of fight and with this kind of football they have managed to (progress).

Despite Germany's dominant ball control, the US refused to fold after Thomas Muller's 55th-minute strike.

Captain Clint Dempsey and substitute Alejandro Bedoya went close to equalizing in the final minutes as the US peppered Manuel Neuer's goal.

Germany next face the runners-up of Group H in Porto Alegre on June 30 while the US will meet the Group H winners in Salvador a day later.

Podolski said the tournament had just begun for his team as they bid for a fourth World Cup trophy.

"We want to stay until the end of course," the Arsenal player said. "Now the tournament starts. Now everyone is strong and let's see tomorrow which team we play against," he said.

Podolski, who started alongside Thomas Muller in attack, had two shots on goal before being replaced by Miroslav Klose at halftime.

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