Chicharito 'proud' despite Mexico's semifinal loss to Germany

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The Bayer Leverkusen striker admitted to being 'sad' after his side was soundly beaten in the Confederations Cup semifinals

Mexico's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez admitted that Thursday's 4-1 loss to Germany in the Confederations Cup final was a "sad" moment, but also claims to "proud" of his team despite the defeat. 

El Tri finished second in Group A, ahead of host nation Russia and level on points with European champion Portugal, but could not overcome a talented young German side to reach the tournament's final. 

"[I feel] sad, disillusioned, but with my head held high and proud of all from team, the coaching staff and the fans," the Bayer Leverkusen striker is quoted as saying by ESPN

Mexico's defense overwhelmed

While the loss to Germany was certainly a blow to the Mexican side, which recorded more than twice as many shots as Germany in the match, the 29-year-old did not want to discredit the performance put in by the reigning world champions.

"If football was about justice, it'd be a different story. That's not to demerit what Germany did or to give an excuse," he said.

"The only thing in our heads is that we are sad. Nobody wants to lose like that, in a semi. We really wanted to reach the final."

Mexico is already on the verge of qualifying directly for a return to Russia for the 2018 World Cup with plenty of time to spare, having racked up 14 points in six matches during CONCACAF's final round of qualifiers. And while the loss to Germany certainly put a damper on the team's good form, Hernandez sees the match as a measuring stick ahead of next summer's showpiece. 

"We went up against the world champion and it's been useful for Mexican football to know where we are," he continued. 

U.S. takes Gonzalez from Mexico

Mexico's final outing the tournament will be a third-place playoff against Portugal, a team El Tri has already earned a draw against in Russia. And while playing in the final was the aim, Hernandez believes that even making it into the knockout rounds shows the progress his country has made over the last four years after having been bounced in the group stages from the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. 

"We are playing the European champion in the third-place playoff, which is something we didn't reach four years ago, so something is improving," he said.

"We're going step by step, it's not night and day."

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