Pizzi pays trib­ute to Bravo af­ter penalty hero­ics

Chile man­ager says team de­served to beat Por­tu­gal and reach event fi­nal

The National - News - Sport - - RUGBY UNION -

Chile man­ager Juan An­to­nio Pizzi lauded Clau­dio Bravo for the goal­keeper’s hero­ics in the penalty shootout vic­tory over Por­tu­gal that se­cured a place in the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup fi­nal.

The match was goal­less at the end of ex­tra time and Manch­ester City goal­keeper Bravo saved all three of the spot-kicks he faced in Kazan as Chile ad­vanced to Sun­day’s fi­nal against ei­ther Germany or Mex­ico.

“For­tu­nately in the penalty shootout Clau­dio was amaz­ing, the play­ers who scored were amaz­ing and I think we de­serve to be in the fi­nal,” Pizzi said.

“When Clau­dio was able to stop the first effort af­ter Ar­turo [Vi­dal] scored, we started to feel a lit­tle more re­laxed. Clau­dio had re­ally an­a­lysed very well his op­po­nents. He was very well pre­pared for that sit­u­a­tion.

“That’s why we were able to win the penalty shootout.” The South Amer­i­can cham­pi­ons had come clos­est to win­ning the con­test in open play when Vi­dal hit the post in the penul­ti­mate minute of ex­tra time and Martin Ro­driguez struck the bar with the fol­low-up.

Por­tu­gal had ear­lier es­caped when Ira­nian of­fi­cial Alireza Faghani opted to not ask the video as­sis­tant ref­eree to re­view a chal­lenge by Jose Fonte on Fran­cisco Silva, which should have been a penalty.

Bravo saved poor spot-kicks from Ri­cardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani while Chile were fault­less from the spot and went through 3-0 as Vi­dal, Charles Aran­guiz and Alexis Sanchez scored.

“We’re very happy,” Pizzi said. “We have made a huge effort and I think you could see dur­ing the game we have played in­cred­i­ble. We couldn’t score dur­ing the game. Both teams played at a very high level. Ev­ery sin­gle player has given ev­ery­thing. “I think we had a cou­ple of chances more to score, at the end of ex­tra time. In any case it was a very bal­anced game.” Por­tu­gal man­ager Fer­nando San­tos de­fended his penalty tak­ers, point­ing to the fact the trio net­ted penal­ties as his side won the Euro­pean ti­tle last year.

San­tos was also mag­nan­i­mous in de­feat.

“It was an ex­cel­lent game, two ex­cel­lent teams,” he said.

“They both showed they wanted to win.

“Por­tu­gal started very well. We were able to sur­prise the Chile team. In the first 20 min­utes we were bet­ter. We had chances we didn’t score.

“In the last few min­utes of ex­tra time they did have good op­por­tu­ni­ties, but be­fore that it was very bal­anced. Chile was the winner and the fair winner.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions.”

Clau­dio had re­ally an­a­lysed very well his op­po­nents. He was very well pre­pared for that sit­u­a­tion Juan An­to­nio Pizzi Chile man­ager

Mario Cruz / EPA

Chile’s goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo ‘was amaz­ing’ against Por­tu­gal at Kazan, ac­cord­ing to man­ager Juan An­to­nio Pizzi.

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