Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pizzi assumes responsibility for Chile defeat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Oct 2016

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Juan Antonio Pizzi assumed sole responsibility for Chile’s disappointing 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Ecuador in Quito.

The Copa America champions were comfortably beaten by Gustavo Quinteros’ side, failing to control possession as they so often do and paying the price for sloppy defending.

Antonio Valencia opened the scoring before Cristian Ramirez doubled Ecuador’s advantage with his first senior international goal.

Felipe Caicedo made sure of the three points when he steered home in the first minute of the second half, leaving Chile languishing in seventh place in the CONMEBOL qualifying section for Russia 2018.

And Pizzi refused to lay the blame for a lacklustre performance at the feet of his players, saying: “The responsibility for the individual and collective shortcomings are mine. I am the one in control of our approach.

“I will not make an analysis of personal performances, that will happen in time and internally with the group.

“On the whole, we were surpassed in every aspect of the game. We planned the match thinking that possession of the ball would be mostly ours, but we never had control of the game.”

Claudio Bravo returned to the squad after missing the two previous qualifiers due to personal reasons and he refused to use the elevation of Quito as an explanation for the defeat.

“There is no excuse in the issue of altitude. It is very difficult to play here. Physically it is complicated if you do not have the ball at your feet,” he added.

Chile entertain Peru in their next match on Tuesday and Arturo Vidal believes the fixture could be pivotal in their quest for World Cup qualification.

He said: “Against Peru we have to play with all our heart. That game is crucial and I expect the support of the fans. We have to lift our heads and get the three points.”

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