Dudamel: We rivaled the best team in the world


Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel says there is no shame in losing to "the best team in the world", after his side's 4-1 demolition at the hands of Argentina in the Copa America Centenario quarter-finals.

Lionel Messi was at his magnificent best as he recorded two assists and scored his 54th goal for Argentina, equalling the country's all-time goalscoring mark set by Gabriel Batistuta in the process.

And Dudamel, whose team gave a better account of themselves than the scoreline might suggest, said his side were simply beaten by a superior opponent on the day.

"We were a worthy rival to the best team in the world today," he said.

"Against such teams, errors become a sin that they do not forgive and you have to accept that."

And there were some big errors for Venezuela.

Gonzalo Higuain was gifted his second goal and first-half brace when a terrible back-pass allowed the Napoli striker to run through on goal and slide the ball home easily, before Luis Seijas had a terrible panenka penalty saved on the stroke of half-time.

But despite that, Dudamel was pleased with his team's performance.

"The balance is immediately positive," he said.

"Of course it was not the end we wanted or imagined, but we dealt with a selection that is the number one ranking.

"It's time to cool down a bit, to think, to analyse, to look again at the games. I'm sure there are many good things we're going to find."