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Queiroz sees improvement in Colombia despite Chile loss

Sport Writer

Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz put a positive spin on Colombia’s penalty shoot-out elimination from the Copa America by champions Chile on Friday.

Colombia didn’t concede a goal in four games in Brazil – although Chile had two disallowed by VAR in Sao Paulo – yet still crashed out at the quarterfinal stage.

“Penalties are a very tough way to leave a competition, but I think the matches we played showed very good signs of development, improvement, compactness, security,” said the 66-year-old Portuguese boss.

“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.”

Queiroz, who only took over Colombia in February, felt his side had dominated but lacked a clinical touch in the final third.

“We moved around all the attacking players but once again luck deserted us,” he said.

“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 one step towards a greater goal: to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Roja missed out on the last global showpiece in Russia despite having won the last two Copa America titles.

“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.

And Rueda revealed that Chile 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.”

As for the two goals chalked off by VAR, Rueda said teams are just going to have to start getting used to that.

“It’s already a reality, a fact… thankfully we didn’t lose our focus because of those situations.”

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