Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli says he is delighted with his team’s showing during their Gillette International Soccer Series 2-1 defeat to Brazil at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Tuesday.
Eduardo Vargas equalised Hulk’s opener before substitute Robinho headed the winner with just ten minutes remaining in front of a crowd of 38,514 in Canada, ending Chile's 10-match unbeaten run.
But Sampaoli says he can take a lot of positives from his side’s display.
“What I take from this performance is the desire that this team showed. To go head-to-head against Brazil, the best team in the world, and have the ball and attack was pleasing,” he said.
“This Brazil is a team that won the Confederations Cup quite easily and have won all their friendlies recently… we had some early problems going forward that we have to look at more closely, but overall we’re very happy.”
Chile were out a number of first-team players, including Marcelo Diaz, Mauricio Isla and Arturo Vidal.
Sampaoli admitted his side struggled in midfield in the early stages and was encouraged by the performance of Jorge Valdivia, who he said restored balance to the midfield after coming on to replace Jose Pedro Fuenzalida after just 22 minutes.
“Initially, we really felt the loss of Marcelo Diaz,” continued Sampaoli.
“We knew Jorge Valdivia wasn’t going to be able to play at 100% and the substitution helped us move forward more effectively. It gave us someone to control the play in midfield.
“We played against a team who have some of the best players in the world sitting on the bench. To leave space for the likes of Robinho and Hulk shows our courage. Brazil’s willingness to play on the counter-attack shows the respect they have for us.”
“Overall, this leaves us feeling good because it knows we can aspire to high level in the future.”