Argentina manager Sergio Batista refused to call his side’s Copa America campaign a ‘failure’ on Saturday.Batista was speaking after the 5-4 penalty shootout defeat in the quarter-finals to Uruguay, which came after 120 minutes of football ended with a 1-1 scoreline.
Uruguay’s Diego Perez was sent off after just 39 minutes but Argentina could not make the most of their numerical advantage, before midfielder Javier Mascherano was sent off late in normal time.
“I wouldn’t call it a failure,” Batista said.
“We had the same objective, to win the tournament. We worked to win it. We just have to continue working to get to the most important thing, and that is the World Cup.”
“We have to continue working to get better.”
Batista also felt Mascherano should not have been sent off, while praising Lionel Messi who scored one of Argentina’s four penalties in the shootout but was not able to find the back of the net in normal time.
“It wasn’t worth a red card,” he said about his captain.
“Lionel had a very good game. I always like how he plays. In the second half, he was down as was the entire team.”
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was delighted, comparing the win to another famous triumph on July 16.
That was the date that Uruguay won the 1950 FIFA World Cup Final against Brazil 2-1, beating the host nation, and they repeated the dose in Santa Fe by stunning the Argentine support.
Suarez also praised the fans from Uruguay to watch the crucial match.
“July 16 was a historic date, and we talked about it, and we also wanted to make history,” Suarez said.
“It’s an incredible moment. I believe we deserved it because in the first half ‘the Russian’ (Diego Perez) was sent off, and justice was served.”
“We knew playing against the hosts was going to be difficult because we had all of the stadium against us, but we have to thank all of the fans and family who came to support us.”
Uruguay not meet Peru in the first semi-final on Tuesday in La Plata.