Copa America 2019: Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz lauds team's efforts after penalty shoot-out elimination by Chile
Defending champions Chile advanced to the semi-finals of the showpiece event, staying on course for a third consecutive Copa America title
Colombia and Chile played out a goalless draw in the quarter-finals of the Copa America before Chile advanced on penalties to semi-finals
Chile could have won the game in normal time but had two goals ruled out by VAR
Following eight successful penalties, William Tesillo casually put his effort wide for Colombia, leaving Sanchez to be the hero for Chile
Sao Paulo: Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz put a positive spin on his side'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 quarter-final 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' Chile 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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The result in Blida kept reigning African champions Algeria top of Group A, ahead of Burkina Faso on goal difference in a two-team fight to finish first and qualify for the final elimination round next March.
England visit Andorra closing in on qualifying after collecting 16 points from a possible 18 — including a 4-0 win over the 156th-ranked team at Wembley last month.
South American teams are playing three World Cup qualifiers crammed into a single week but the last of those are on Thursday, 14 October, just two days before the major clubs play their next Premier League fixtures.