Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel was left with mixed emotions following his side's 1-1 draw with Mexico at the Copa America Centenario on Monday.
A win for Venezuela would have sealed top spot in Group C and Jose Velazquez's first-half overhead kick had the South Americans on their way.
But substitute Jesus Corona scored a brilliant solo goal with 10 minutes left to level, which meant Mexico finished top of the group.
The draw means Venezuela are likely to face Argentina in the quarter-finals, while Mexico will be left with either defending champions Chile or Panama.
"Right now I feel bitterness. I feel bitterness because I wanted to win, and so did my players," Dudamel said following the match at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
"When I entered the locker room I saw all my players angry because they wanted the win.
"That makes me happy because they showed the level of commitment and character of winners."
He added: "We played a great game. I feel very proud of my players.
"Today we have taken a step in our very noticeable growth because there have been new players in the starting team.
"The order and the willingness and desire to win have been a lot better."