Moscow, July 4 (IANS) Colombia coach Jose Nestor Pekerman told reporters on Tuesday that it’s difficult for him to accept being knocked out of the World Cup by England. He also said the referee’s decisions in their round of 16 clash made the match “uncomfortable” for him.
Colombia drew 1-1 with England in the 2018 World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow and lost the match 3-4 on penalties. In the 57th minute, England were awarded a penalty because of a Colombian player’s foul inside the box and Harry Kane opened the scoring for England by successfully converting the penalty.
Yerry Mina scored for Colombia in the 93rd minute to send the match into extra-time, reports Xinhua news agency.
At the post-match press conference, Pekerman expressed his anger at the referee’s decisions and the performance of the England players.
“It was uncomfortable to play this match knowing the feelings about the referee’s decisions. There was a lot of confusion on the pitch today”, said Pekerman.
The Argentine also criticised the England players.
“A player faked being fouled because he was pushed by the opponent and they tried to let the referee book another player. We saw (this kind of thing) over and over again,” he said.
Pekerman praised Colombia’s performance in Tuesday’s match.
“This was a brave team that has fought hard and has progressed. We’ve never thrown in the towel when facing an opponent. We’ve had the right attitude and mindset. We really hoped we could progress to the quarterfinals because we fought since we started,” he said.
After a 120-minute draw, the two sides went to a penalty shootout. Colombia’s fourth kick hit the crossbar and the fifth one was palmed away by the England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. England successfully converted four penalties and had one stopped by David Ospina.
Pekerman said it’s “very difficult to accept” the elimination.
“A team like us progressed so much (but we) just needed a little luck because a penalty shootout needs luck. That’s why I was hurt but also moved because my players deserved to win tonight and to advance to the quarterfinals,” he added.
Colombia’s top star James Rodriguez didn’t play in the fixture and Pekerman told reporters that his absence was “decisive”.