Chile advance, progress for Colombia

SAO PAULO • Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz saw some positives after his side's 5-4 penalty shoot-out elimination by Copa America two-time defending champions Chile in the quarter-finals.

Chile dominated and had two goals disallowed for offside by the video assistant referee as it ended goal-less in Sao Paulo on Friday.

Colombia may not have conceded a goal in their four matches but William Tesillo pulled their last penalty wide and Alexis Sanchez ended their run.

"Penalties are a very tough way to leave a competition, but we showed very good signs of development, improvement, compactness, security," said Queiroz.

"I want to congratulate the Chilean players and squad.

"But I want to give my biggest congratulations to our players, who struggled, fought hard, with a lot of desire and belief to try to win the game."

The Portuguese coach, who took over only in February after leading Iran to the Asian Cup semi-finals, felt Colombia lacked a clinical touch in the final third.

"We moved around all the attacking players but, once again, luck deserted us," added the former Portugal and Real Madrid coach. "The only person responsible for us failing to progress was me, no one else."

Chile's Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda said this victory was merely a step towards the greater goal of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. La Roja missed out on the global showpiece in Russia last year.

"There's still a long way to go. This is just an intermediate goal on the road we've always talked about, which is Qatar," he said.

He revealed his men had been practising penalties every day, just in case.

"Many years ago I learnt the importance of those twelve yards to the goal," he said.

"We end every training session from the penalty spot."

Chile will face either Uruguay or Peru in Porto Alegre on Wednesday, a day after the first semi-final between hosts Brazil and Argentina in Belo Horizonte.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 30, 2019, with the headline 'Chile advance, progress for Colombia'. Print Edition | Subscribe