Winning penalty gave me unbelievable joy: Chile coach
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli says the winning penalty, converted by star striker Alexis Sanchez, that saw the hosts beat Argentina and claim their first-ever Copa America gave him "unbelievable joy".
Santiago: Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli says the winning penalty, converted by star striker Alexis Sanchez, that saw the hosts beat Argentina and claim their first-ever Copa America gave him "unbelievable joy".
Sampaoli's side won 4-1 on penalties after a goalless game in Santiago and the forward hit the winning spot-kick with a cheeky shot to spark wild celebrations here on Saturday.
"Alexis' penalty gave me an unbelievable joy," he said in the press conference after the match.
"These players did a great job. They went out in search of this Copa. I didn't see one play in the whole competition to suggest that Chile was not better than their rivals."
As well as their maiden Copa, the title is also Chile's first on a football field for a generation of players considered the best in the nation's history.
"I want to enjoy this moment with my players," Sampaoli said.
"To have won the Copa America here in Chile, with the people euphoric. I want to say thank you to my players for allowing me to be part of that."
The 55-year-old coach believes Chile were the better side over the 90 minutes and extra-time and says the shoot-out success saw that justice was done on Saturday.
"In terms of attacking volume, Chile were superior to Argentina," he said.
"We were able to dominate with the ball against a powerful team like Argentina. Chile played a great game and we had the opportunity to win it over the 90 minutes. I take my hat off to these players.
The penalties did us justice in the end because that was the right result. Chile offered more in the game than Argentina," he added.
Sampaoli also explained that stopping Argentina captain Lionel Messi was a big part of his side's success on Saturday.
"The idea was for us to be the protagonist so the rival wouldn't be able to dominate the play," he said.
"If that happens, Messi shows you why he is the best in the world. The idea was to press high up the pitch and come out playing the ball. There was more effort and more commitment from us throughout the match."
And asked if he will carry on as Chile coach, Sampaoli said: "I just want to enjoy this moment. I will analyse everything else later on."