The Chilean midfielder Arturo vidal blamed the Argentine referee for the elimination of the America Cup of his team before Brazil on Friday, calling him a “clown” because “he thinks he’s the star of the show.”
Chile lost 1-0 to Brazil, who played most of the second half with 10 men after Gabriel Jesús was sent off for a heinous kung-fu tackle on Eugenio Mena. Brazil was up one goal at the time and, although Chile did rush forward looking for an equalizer, they found a good goalkeeper and a canny opponent who knew how and when to let time run.
“We are very sad, we deserved much more,” said Vidal. “In a game like this you need a referee who wears pants, who is fair and who does not want to be the clown of the game. We simply lacked that goal. If there is a referee who does not let you play, who stops the game all the time, and thinks that he is the star of the show, then it is very difficult ”. The former Barça player admitted, however, that “the favorites beat us, the team playing at home,” added Vidal. “At least we go with our heads held high.”
Vidal’s comments came despite 13 fouls committed by Brazil, only one more than his own. The referee issued four yellow cards. Brazilian striker Neymar, once again the most prominent player of the reigning champions, excused Jesus for a minor offense that he said was more bad judgment than malevolence. “Jesus just had bad luck. He had his eye on the ball, not the man, and unfortunately, he was sent off. “
Neymar, on the other hand, praised the way Brazil coped with pressure it is not used to. “Every day that passes we have tests to get stronger, to show that we can play in all kinds of circumstances,” he said.
“Chile is a good team, they have great players and it is very difficult with one less man. Everyone deserves praise, the defense, the midfield, the forwards. We managed to put up with something that rarely happens to this team. It was a great test for us. We knew we were going to face a very tough game, but the important thing was that we won and we are in the semi-final. “
Brazil will now face Peru, who beat Paraguay in the other quarterfinal match on Friday.