Concepcion (Chile), June 28 (IANS) Brazil forward Robinho has expressed his disappointment at not being able to participate in the penalty shoot-out which resulted in his team’s elimination from the Copa America.
Brazil faced Paraguay in the quarter-finals of the tournament here on Saturday, and the star frontman opened the scoring 15 minutes later to put them on the path to progression.
However, Derlis Gonzalez equalised from the spot and then, with nothing to separate the sides at the end of 90 minutes, scored the winning penalty for a 4-3 Paraguay victory in the shoot-out.
The 31-year-old was unable to take a spot-kick after being replaced by Everton Ribeiro – who failed to convert his effort from 12 yards – in the 87th minute and admitted he had hoped Dunga would allow him to remain on the field.
“I wanted to stay to take a penalty, but I have to respect the coach’s decision,” Robinho said after the game.
“Usually I’m there to take a penalty. Now we must face it – our team has a lot to improve on. If one loses, everyone loses.”
The forward felt that a poor second-half display and the sloppy concession of a spot-kick that led to the equaliser was to blame for the team’s elimination.
“Sadly, our performance dropped in the second half. We had the chance to finish the game. All due respect, but Paraguay aren’t among the best national teams,” he added.
“We could have won it, but we didn’t and conceded in a silly fashion.”
Along with Everton Ribeiro, substitute Douglas Costa also missed the target in the shoot-out.
However, captain Miranda refused to point fingers and suggested that the team must now look forward to the World Cup 2018 qualification process.
“The ones who were prepared were chosen to take the kicks. That’s the thing with penalties, sometimes you can be ready and fail,” he said.
“Only those who are there can fail or succeed. They were prepared but two failed – it happens.
“It’s a sad moment. We had a solid performance but then we conceded on an aerial play (which led to) a penalty, and we were unfortunate in the shoot-out.
“We have to raise our heads and now think about the World Cup qualifiers – that’s the most important thing for us now.”