Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez has blamed his team’s 2-1 Confederations Cup loss to Brazil on a missed first-half penalty.
In the 14th minute in Belo Horizonte, Diego Forlan’s penalty was saved by Brazil’s goalkeeper Julio Cesar after David Luiz had dragged Diego Lugano down in the box.
That close call seemed to inspire Brazil, who had struggled in the opening stages, and the hosts took the lead in the 41st minute through Fred, eventually winning thanks to Paulinho’s late header, following Edinson Cavani’s equaliser just after half-time.
Speaking after Wednesday’s semi-final, Tabarez confirmed Forlan’s failure to convert from the spot had deflated Uruguay.
“I think missing the penalty had an effect on us because until then we had dominated the game and had missed chance,” Tabarez said.
“They weren’t finding the way through us and we restricted their chances well, from there they improved a little.”
Despite the loss, Tabarez was pleased with his team’s performance and paid special tribute to how his players had pressured Brazil all over the pitch.
“All teams have virtues and it is the duty of the coach to analyse them and know how we can limit them,” Tabarez said.
“Today we put pressure on them up high, Forlan against the two central backs, (Luis) Suarez and Cavani against the full backs, the two side midfielders (Alvaro) Gonzalez and (Cristian) Rodriguez approaching the central midfielder who had the ball, and they had difficulty playing as they like to.
“I think that worked for us but when we lost that position we struggled.”