Colombia coach Jose Pekerman downplayed the role the referee had in his side’s 1-0 win over Brazil, while hinting that the Brazilians’ complaints were just sour grapes.
Pekerman led Colombia to just their third victory ever against Brazil on Wednesday, with his side claiming their first points at the 2015 Copa America thanks to Jeison Murillo’s first-half goal.
But although Colombia notched a famous win – just their second competitive victory over their neighbours, following a 2-0 triumph in 1991 – the aftermath of the match was dominated by an ugly fracas that saw Brazil captain Neymar and Colombian striker Carlos Bacca sent off.
Neymar claimed he was unfairly targeted throughout the match in Santiago, while many of his team-mates slammed referee Enrique Osses’ performance.
But Pekerman made it clear he did not consider Osses to have been a critical factor.
“Generally, I don’t speak on referees. Sometimes we had to lose and we’ve never talked about a ref,” the Argentine coach said.
“On the contrary, I was measured in the game Colombia lost [to Brazil] in the World Cup where it was a great debate over some mistakes, which might damage Colombia.
“I usually don’t talk on referees. I think the answer is in the team’s output. And today I saw Colombia very superior in the first half and in the second half the match was more balanced. Brazil was a little bit better in the second half but Colombia had clear chances in the second half too even if we had less possession.
“Anyway, the chances do exist in the second half and I think our output was good. I have seen this game. This is the game I saw.”
Colombia had been widely criticised after they started their Copa America campaign with a 1-0 loss to Venezuela.
Despite that, Pekerman only made one change to his starting XI for the clash with Brazil – bringing in Teofilo Gutierrez for Bacca.
“We believed always in the players and in the group,” Pekerman said.
“This was a great chance to demonstrate as we have played against an opponent when you have to play at your maximum. Fortunately our improvement was very clear and we saw a very complete game when we could win fairly and thanks to our merits.”