Football: Chile coach backs Marcelo Diaz after Confederations Cup howler

Marcelo Diaz of Chile (left) in against Leon Goretzka of Germany during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 final match between Chile and Germany at the Saint Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia on July 2, 2017.
Marcelo Diaz of Chile (left) in against Leon Goretzka of Germany during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 final match between Chile and Germany at the Saint Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia on July 2, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

St Petersburg (AFP) - Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi defended midfielder Marcelo Diaz despite the first-half blunder which cost La Roja the Confederations Cup as they lost 1-0 to Germany in Sunday's final.

Diaz's momentary lapse of concentration in St Petersburg let Timo Werner rob him of possession.

The forward drew out Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and passed to midfielder Lars Stindl, who tapped the winning goal into an empty net on 20 minutes.

"Marcelo, like his (Chile) team-mates, is sad, we are all sad," said Pizzi.

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"However, we really value his style and the world of football knows the way we play is because of Marcelo.

"With our kind of style of play, things can happen.

"No one expected that, but this sort of situation can happen in a match and we support him fully.

"Of course, he's disappointed but we need to move on and become stronger from this."

Pizzi admitted Germany's goal knocked the confidence out of the Chileans as midfielder Arturo Vidal and substitute Angelo Sagal both fired second-half shots over the bar.

"Their goal changed everything - it changed the way my players felt and made our opponents better," said Pizzi.

"Even then, we kept fighting and controlling the game and created more chances, but one of the hardest things is to score and we'll keep working to improve the team."

Despite Chile picking up four yellows cards - including defender Gonzalo Jara who could have been sent off for elbowing Werner in the face - Pizzi defended his team's aggression.

"It's a final and that is the reason the game is played at such a high intensity," he said.