Colombia coach Jose Pekerman hailed Teofilo Gutierrez’s performance in their 1-0 Copa America win over Brazil as “flawless”.
Jeison Murillo’s close-range strike ensured all three points for Colombia in Santiago on Wednesday as they bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Venezuela in their first group game.
The centre-back rifled home after Gutierrez had managed to deflect a right-wing free-kick into his path.
There were ugly scenes after the full-time whistle as Brazil captain Neymar was sent off for appearing to kick the ball at full-back Pablo Armero and then aiming a headbutt at Murillo.
Colombia’s Carlos Bacca, who had been left out in favour of Gutierrez, also saw red for a shove on Neymar in the melee.
But focusing on the positives of his side’s showing, Pekerman said: “Teo Gutierrez performance was huge, excellent, he was very important in our play.
“It is very satisfying because Teo has always had the ability to bring great moments to the national team.
“He has had less opportunities but he has waited for his moment and I think that he did a smart job playing cleverly, as he is used to doing, understanding the team’s needs.
“He was an excellent partner for James [Rodriguez], for [Radamel] Falcao and [Juan] Cuadrado, for the wingers, for [Erwin] Valencia and [Carlos] Sanchez. Teo produced a flawless game.”