Copa America: Rueda insight won't give Chile upper hand against Colombia

Chile and Colombia will meet on a level playing field in the Copa America quarterfinals, despite Reinaldo Rueda's nationality, says the Chile boss.

Published : Jun 25, 2019 17:18 IST

Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda played down the significance of his Colombian heritage with the teams set to meet in the Copa America quarterfinals.

Defending champion Chile missed out on top spot in Group C following a 1-0 loss to Uruguay at the Maracana on Monday, Edinson Cavani's brilliant header eight minutes from time sending Oscar Tabarez's side through as the pool winner.

La Roja will next play Colombia – which won all three of its matches in a group that also contained Argentina, Paraguay and Qatar – at Arena Corinthians on Friday.

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Despite having previously coached Colombia and four clubs in his home nation, Rueda does not think his presence in the Chile dugout will give it the upper hand.

"In football there are no mysteries or secrets anymore. With information technology and evaluation programmes, not much can be hidden," said Rueda.

"It is a question of two very competitive teams, two elite squads of a good level, perhaps experiencing very different moments.

"Colombia is coming off a World Cup, Chile failed to qualify, but there is this internal challenge for each of the Chileans to take advantage of this competition to demonstrate that they continue to retain a status as winners.

"[Colombia] are showing they are a very mature team that has played good games – even with the rotation of players in their last game. They had a good World Cup and have players that play in major leagues."

Rueda switched to a back three for the meeting with Uruguay and rested Arturo Vidal, Mauricio Isla and Jean Beausejour, each of whom were a booking away from being suspended for the quarterfinals.

"We would have exposed them too much ahead of such an important game in the next stage," explained Rueda.

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Vidal supported the decision of the coach and plans to make the most of the rest with a strong performance against Colombia.

"I always like to play, but you have to respect decisions. The coach knows how to handle these moments and I did not want to miss the quarterfinals, so it's better to rest and train in the best way for Friday," said Vidal.

"We were not hurt by the defeat [to Uruguay]. We were already through. We always want to win, but sometimes we have to come second."

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