Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez admitted that his team did not deserve to advance to the World Cup semifinals in Russia after their 2-0 defeat to France on Friday.
Raphael Varane put Les Bleus ahead with a first-half header before Antoine Griezmann’s 61st-minute strike from distance slipped through the hands of Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
“We were lacking what all teams lack when they lose. We didn’t play as well as our rivals,” Tabarez told a news conference.
“We really made a huge physical effort in the first 20 minutes but then we weren’t able to exploit the chances that France gave us. Then they scored and that had a huge impact.
“We made some substitutions but we weren’t able to change the situation. The boys gave everything but France were able to control the match very well and after the second goal there was a big difference between the two teams. We couldn’t control their strengths and they were the better team.”
The 71-year-old, who has been Uruguay’s coach since 2006, would not be drawn on whether he would continue in the role. But he said another coach would be perfectly capable of carrying on his work.
“I don’t know any examples where the coach decides who will be the coach in the future,” Tabarez said.
“I still have a contract. It’s not up to me to decide. Associations and organizations are there to decide these things. I’ve never been one to comment on those things and I’m not going to start today. If I did I would be going against my principles.
Tabarez refused to point the blame at Muslera and declined to reveal details of the conversation he had with the keeper after the match.
“It’s impossible not to make mistakes in life. Only those that don’t do anything don’t make mistakes. I told my players after the match that they can be proud and hold their heads high. I didn’t say anything negative to them. It’s true that this phase is over but we have to look into the future. Uruguay will continue to be a football nation and that the positive things will keep happening. It’s not necessary for those that are here today necessarily stay on for that to happen and that makes me happy.”