Belo Horizonte (Brazil) (AFP) - Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli expressed pride at his team's performance despite seeing them exit the World Cup on Saturday after an agonising defeat on penalties to Brazil.
"My feeling is of pride in the players and for the Chilean people," said Sampaoli after Chile held Brazil to a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes and extra time only to succumb 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out at the Mineirao Stadium.
"I am sad because to play like this against the hosts and end up losing in the way we did is obviously very hard for us," he added.
"The players did everything possible and represented the country in an incredible manner. They will go down in history for the way they represented their country."
Chile almost won the game at the end of extra time, when Mauricio Pinilla crashed a shot against the bar. Chile had lost the three previous World Cup meetings between the two.
"That was our chance to make history, to give the Chilean people the historic moment that they needed," said Sampaoli.
"Brazil never took risks and did not create chances. They seemed to be waiting for penalties and we almost ended up winning the game.
"We were playing against candidates to win the World Cup and we were close to winning the match.
- 'Gave our all' -
The Argentine also hailed the efforts of his team, including Arturo Vidal, who needed pain-killing injections to play and train throughout the tournament as he struggled to recover from a knee injury.
However, Chile have now been knocked out by Brazil in the second round in each of their last three World Cup finals appearances, after previous defeats in 1998 and 2010.
"It hurts to lose like that and go out of this World Cup, which we all dreamed of winning," said Vidal, who lasted 87 minutes before making way for Pinilla.
"We left our soul on the pitch. We competed with the best teams, and now they will look at us differently, with a lot of respect."
Goalkeeper and captain Claudio Bravo added: "We can feel proud of the way we played. We gave our all but we leave sad because we had chances to win the game."
Meanwhile, Sampaoli said the triumph will provide Brazil -- who have still never been beaten at home by Chile -- with a huge lift as they seek a sixth World Cup.
"We will see in the future if Brazil are candidates. They are a solid, compact side and have taken a big step today. They will go into their coming games feeling much more secure," he said.
Chile's own focus will now switch towards next year's Copa America, which they will host as they look to lift the trophy for the first time.
"We were really hopeful that we would win this match," added the Argentine. "Losing in such a painful manner will generate all sorts of different evaluations but the Copa America is for the future."
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