Head coach Juan Carlos Osorio (pictured) speaks to the press after Mexico's loss to Chile in the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals in Santa Clara, California. (Photo: Mexsport)
SANTA CLARA, California -- He didn’t waste any time apologizing. Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio sat in front of a room packed with media and blamed himself for a 7-0 loss to Chile in the 2016 Copa America Centenario quarterfinals on Saturday night.
It was a moment Osorio did not expect to face. He didn’t anticipate his first setback in charge of the Tricolor to come in such a fashion, one that snapped Mexico’s record 22-match unbeaten streak.
“I think today was a shameful presentation,” Osorio said. “Obviously, there are bigger tragedies, but in terms of sport, today was a very, very poor showing on our part.”
The 55-year-old continued with humble words to Mexico fans, refusing to make excuses for a game that Chile controlled. The defending champion’s stars -- Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal – were at their impressive best, Eduardo Vargas scored a remarkable four goals and “La Roja” won nearly every battle, earning a spot in Wednesday’s semifinal against Colombia in Chicago.
Despite on-field errors, Osorio took personal responsibility for the result. He had rotated line-ups throughout an unbeaten group stage that saw 21 different competitors on the field at the start of the first three games. Only five players, however, were in the starting line-up for the previous encounter against Venezuela and the meeting with Chile.
“I think I made all the mistakes. I assume that responsibility,” expressed Osorio. “I selected the team, the players. Even though we had three midfielders, just like they did, we were never able to control midfield. They won every single ball every time we pressed them, and I think defensively we were very fragile. I think I erred with the selection of the starting lineup, and I would also say I made mistakes tactically.”
Chile was fluid with long balls and continually switching the point of attack to create chances. It flowed efficiently through every quadrant, relying on Sanchez and Vidal to carve open space repeatedly. No matter what was tried in response, Mexico couldn’t slow down the South Americans’ attack.
Despite already taking the blame for Mexico’s worst loss in an official competition (the Tricolor once fell to England, 8-0, in a 1961 friendly), Osorio also commented on his future status with the team.
“We all will shoulder in our own way this defeat,” he finished. “As far as my decision, I'm trying to digest this defeat. Then, I'll think very thoroughly.”
Mexico has a 9W-1D-1L record with Osorio at the managerial helm.