Rio de Janeiro, July 11 (IANS) Brazil defender Thiago Silva said Argentina deserves Copa America champions after the Albiceleste’s 1-0 victory over the tournament host in Saturday’s final.
“We have to congratulate our opponents,” Silva told a local television channel after the match at the Maracana Stadium. “Argentina neutralised our players and it was very difficult to come back after going a goal down.”
The 36-year-old added: “We weren’t able to play the way we wanted to in the first half and in the second they defended very well. We tried our best but things didn’t go our way.”
Angel Di Maria was the hero for Argentina with a deft 22nd-minute chip-over goalkeeper Ederson after Renan Lodi’s botched attempt to intercept a raking Rodrigo De Paul pass, reports Xinhua.
Despite stumbling at the final hurdle here, Silva insisted Brazil would not be discouraged by the result.
“Overall, I think we had a good campaign. We have to hold our heads up high and we should still be proud of the runners-up medal. That’s football and we have to deal with it.”
The result broke a 13-match unbeaten run for Tite’s men and gave Argentina their first major title since 1993.