BELO HORIZONTE: Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli admitted to being a “sad” man after the width of a crossbar prevented La Roja from knocking Brazil out of ‘their’ World Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Substitute striker Mauricio Pinilla hit the woodwork two minutes from the end of extra time. The score thus remained 1-1 and Chile lost 3-2 in the subsequent penalty shootout.
Sampaoli, Chile’s Argentinian coach, said: “We are sad. Even though everybody was against us we gave everything and it’s been very harsh for us. We were convinced we could go through to the next round. My players gave all they could.
“It’s very hard to go out of the World Cup in this way. Brazil did not create really dangerous goal situations, we restricted their most important player in Neymar and at the end we almost got the win ourselves. These players can consider they have earned a place in the
history of Chilean football.”
However Sampaoli rejected suggestions in his post-match press conference that Chile might consider themselves moral winners.
He said: “There is such thing as a moral victory. The fact is that Brazil won and will continue in the World Cup and we will go home. But I think we showed that we are the equals of teams such as Spain, Holland and Brazil so we are a leader not a follower.”
Asked to summarise the tournament as a whole Sampaoli said: “I will gake away a great deal of personal pride from the players who represented Chile so strongly.
“I thought the time was right to make history and achieve a ‘Mineirazo’. Now we have to look ahead not to the World Cup but to the Copa America.”
Sampaoli refused to comment on whether he would still be national coach when Chile host the continental championship next year.
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