Colombia coach makes self-criticism after team's qualification for World Cup last 16

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-29 02:34:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

SAMARA, Russia, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Despite a victory against Senegal in World Cup Group H match, Colombia coach Jose Nestor Pekerman made self-criticism on Thursday, saying his team played a tough game and couldn't get the necessary control in central midfield.

With a lone goal from defender Yerry Mina at the Samara Arena, the South American country secured a spot in the last 16. Although Senegal launched fierce attacks during the game and created several chances, the Teranga Lions couldn't convert any of them.

"The match was tough because we couldn't get the necessary control in central midfield to enable us to feed the right kind of balls to Falcao," Pekerman told reporters on the post-match press conference.

The Argentine thought "there was a lot of tension in the air today" and "also some very worrying moments, especially in the first half".

"Senegal played very well and it was tough for us to maintain our identity," he added.

However, the 68-year-old coach praised his team for successful defense, as Senegal made 8 attempts at the goal throughout the match without a goal.

"We managed to defend successfully though, and they didn't create many goal-scoring opportunities," he said.

Colombia superstar James Rodriguez was forced off by injury in the first half. The Bayern Munich star made no attempts at the goal and only 10 passes for 30 minutes.

With regard to the midfielder's condition, Pekerman showed great concerns.

"I'm very worried," he said, "I don't have confirmation or information. We have to wait. We hope it's good news after the review (about James Rodriguez's injury)."

Rodriguez absented from training before World Cup due to "muscle fatigue", but the midfielder played in the matches against Japan and Poland.

After advancing to the knockout stage, Colombia will face England or Belgium on July 3.