Letelier and Chile 'at peace' despite heartbreaking World Cup exit

Jose Letelier heaped praise on Chile after the team narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Women's World Cup last 16.

Chile players after their World Cup campaign ended on Thursday.   -  Getty Images

Jose Letelier said Chile players are "totally at peace" with their Women's World Cup achievements despite Thursday's heartbreaking elimination.

A 2-0 victory over Thailand was not enough for Chile, which narrowly missed out on a last-16 berth following Francisca Lara's late missed penalty.

Chile needed to win by three goals in Rennes to progress from Group F as one of the best third-placed teams but Lara's penalty four minutes from the end crashed against the crossbar as Group A rival Nigeria advanced instead.

La Roja were left in tears post-match as emotions overflowed, but head coach Letelier heaped praise on his team following the nation's first foray into the Women's World Cup.

 

"I do feel proud of the effort the players were able to make in this match and up until now," Letelier told reporters.

"Football does create this type of situation whereby from one moment to another you just go through all types of emotions; from the peak of happiness to the depths of despair, that's what it's all about.

"We're totally at peace with all that we did and all of the players who have taken part in the process thus far."

Thursday capped a challenging but priceless experience for Thailand, who finished bottom of Group F.

Thailand was humiliated 13-0 by defending champion the United States on matchday one but the Asian nation scored its first World Cup goal in a 5-1 loss to Sweden and battled against Chile.

"We have to admit that Chile were better than us today," said coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian. "The Women's World Cup has been a great and important experience for Thailand that we can use to go back and improve the development of Thai football.

"Every team in this group is better than us. We have to share this experience with the younger generation and how they could be better prepared if they want to participate in the World Cup."