Coach Mano Menezes said it was a sad day for Brazil after they were knocked out of the Copa America by Paraguay on Sunday.Paraguay beat the defending champions on penalties after their quarter-final match finished 0-0 after 120 minutes, with Brazil missing their first four spot-kicks in the shootout.
Brazil had a plethora of excellent chances during the match, but a combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping from Justo Villar came back to haunt coach Menezes and his side.
“Defeats always bring sadness, because we worked to win,” Menezes said.
“We have to get out of a match like this one with the clear notion of how much Brazil has evolved, to the point of being far superior throughout the entire 120 minutes.”
“It was not enough because we did not score the goal we worked so hard for.”
“Today we did our best to win. Only the goal was missing. We need to have maturity and be calm to analyse this properly.”
Paraguay failed to register a shot on target during the 120 minutes, and have progressed to the last four of the competition despite failing to win a match in the tournament so far.
“We lost a place (in the semi-finals) to an opponent who have drawn four times (in the competition),” Menezes said.
“These are the hard things about football and we have to live with them.”
“Football is not just about wanting. It is a series of things. We have two great teams, Argentina and Brazil, out of the semi-finals. I do not believe there are teams who get into a match with no desire to win.”
Paraguay goalkeeper Villar admitted Brazil had been the better side, but praised his team-mates for remaining focused in the face of the onslaught.
“It was incredibly tiring to play against Brazil, but the team maintained order and concentration and that is why we came out ahead,” Villar said.
“Brazil dominated the whole game and we had to fall very far back, but then in the penalties our strikers were better, but that’s a lottery.”