Bolivia coach Mauricio Soria said his decision to rest four players led to his team’s 5-0 loss to Chile in Group A, but he was unfazed by the result.
With Bolivia and Chile already assured of progression to the Copa America quarter-finals after Ecuador defeated Mexico 2-1, Soria opted to give minutes to Edemir Rodriguez, Cristian Coimbra, Pablo Escobar and Walter Veizaga at the expense of Edward Zenteno, Damian Lizio, Miguel Hurtado and Danny Bejarano.
And Chile took full advantage as they sealed top spot in the group in Santiago on Friday thanks to Charles Aranguiz’s brace.
Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medel were also on target for the tournament hosts, while Bolivia captain Ronald Raldes scored an own goal late in the fixture.
“The conclusiveness of Chile’s superiority is something that I take responsibility for after the changes that I made in the dressing room once I knew we had qualified,” Soria said.
“Having already qualified before the game we decided to change a few players we wanted to rest. That meant we had less coordination and we suffered the consequences of Chile’s strength.
“They were focused on the problems they have been having and had to come out and do something different. We were calm, we thought it was more important to preserve a few players.
“As a result Chile were able to impose themselves more because we did not have the team out from the start we would have chosen.
“Our remaining rivals will have doubts about us now. They will not know if Bolivia are as good as those previous games or this one. We will just keep doing what this team normally does.
“We know the potential we have. That [scoreline] is not gulf that exists between us and Chile.”