Brazil beat Chile in penalty shoot-out, whereas, James Rodriguez`s brace see Colombia blank Uruguay on Saturday. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung feels the host nation should have played well as Chile were the better team. He also praised Julio Cesar and James Rodriguez.
Excerpts from the conversation:
How nervous it was out there in the match between Brazil and Chile?
Yes, the entire sorrounding looked really tensed and nervous. Neymar`s penalty kick where he stopped in between showed the pressure. Gonzalo Jara`s last penalty for Chile that hit the bar won Brazil the game but the hosts should have played better. Chile were the better team between the two.
How do you sum up Chile`s performance and your thoughts on Alexis Sanchez?
Chile wasn`t expected to play so well but they did that just in the match. Brazil started the match very well and was on top but credit to Chile for the way they fought back. Alexis Sanchez is a big talent and he has showcased that in the tournament. He was fantastic against Brazil. He has the calibre like that of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Your thoughts on Julio Cesar`s performance?
He played superbly. It isn`t easy when you play for a club in the second divison in England. In the Brazil team there are stars from top European clubs and Cesar doesn`t have the tag and therefore it is tough to find a place in the team. But Scholari has trusted him and has put a lot of faith in him and he proved him right.
Is Cesar one of the best goalkeepers in the world?>/b>
Yes he is right up there with the best in the world right now. He has got experience and is in good form. He also played the last two World Cups for Brazil so in terms of performances its been top notch.
Your take on the Neymar penalty?
Neymar is one of the best penalty specialists in the recent time. He should have come to take the kick earlier. Best players take them in the beginning. He was under pressure and it was quite prominent. But he took a very good penalty and the fans celebrated an awesome spot-kick.
Mauricio Pinilla`s chance that hit the bar in the last minute of the extra-time, how close it was?
Pinilla should have buried the game with the chance. He should have scored that. He could have taken a bit more time on the ball as it was the last chance of the game.
What do you sum up of James Rodriguez?
He scored an amazing goal on the volley. It was a very difficult chance and he made it look simple. After that goal, Colombia got in control of the game. He has scored five goals already and is ahead of Messi and Neymar that shows his talent. He is a rising star and has been Colombia`s talisman.