Juan Antonio Pizzi has defended Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo following his below-par performance in the side’s 4-2 win over Panama on Tuesday.
Bravo was beaten twice in the Group D clash at the Copa America Centenario, with the Barcelona keeper mostly at blame for both goals.
The 33-year-old misjudged a long-range effort by Miguel Camargo in the opening five minutes, before bundling an Abdiel Arroyo header over the line with 15 minutes to go.
However, Bravo was saved by doubles from Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez, which sealed Chile’s passage into the quarter-finals.
“Claudio is not only my first-choice goalkeeper, he is also the captain of this generation,” Chile coach Pizzi said after the win.
“He is the player with most games played, and I respect him as a footballer and a professional.
“I am sure he will overcome his sadness and bitterness that he has for some of his actions during the game.”
He added: “We have completed our first objective, and that was to be among the eight teams to win the title.”
Defending Copa champions Chile are set to face Mexico in the quarter-finals.
“Mexico is a great national team and it hasn’t been long since we last played them [a 1-0 loss],” Pizzi said.
“They have something like 21 games without a loss, and with a coach that in 10 games under him they’ve conceded two goals.
“Most of their players are at a European level of playing, but we will play and make an effort to compete at our highest level.”