Alexandre Pato was thrilled to play a part in Brazil’s 4-2 win over Ecuador that secured their place in the Copa America quarter-finals.Needing a win or draw from their final Group B match on Wednesday to avoid elimination, Brazil ran out 4-2 winners thanks to an excellent second half display.
Pato and Santos’ starlet Neymar both scored a brace each to assure Brazil’s passage to the quarter-finals.
Speaking after the game, the AC Milan striker praised the attitude of his team-mates after their difficult start to the tournament, and admitted that a win was the most important thing.
“It was the match that we were all hoping for. It was crucial for us, we had to win no matter what. We went looking for a good result and we found it,” Pato said.
“We qualified and in first place, it was what we wanted. Now it is time to work and forget all that happened. A new Copa America begins.”
Pato also highlighted the team spirit inside the Brazil camp, which he said was decisive.
“Here when you win, everybody wins and when you lose, everyone loses. It was an excellent game by the whole team, they all gave something extra and this enabled the 4-2 victory and a great game,” he said.
Brazil now play Paraguay in the quarter-finals, after drawing 2-2 with Gerardo Martino’s men in the group stage.
Meanwhile, Ecuador forward Felipe Caicedo was disappointed following his side’s defeat, a loss that confirmed his team’s exit at the group stage for the fifth Copa America in succession.
“We played well, we could at least have drawn the match,” Caicedo said.
“We lacked concentration at the end and gave Brazil too much space. We could not keep the same rhythm, and that hurt us in the rest of the game.”