Jose Pekerman Furious with Referee After Colombia's Copa Exit

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OMNISPORT

Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman was left fuming with the match officials after his side crashed out of the Copa America Centenario against Chile in their semifinal. 

A poor start from Colombia saw Los Cafeteros go 2-0 down after just 11 minutes - with Charles Aranguiz and Jose Pedro Fuenzalida finding the net for Chile – and there were no further goals in Chicago.

Pekerman's team was then reduced to 10 men early in a second half that was delayed by more than two hours because of thunderstorms, with Carlos Sanchez sent off to end any hopes of a comeback.

While Pekerman rued his side's lapses of concentration early in the game, he believes referee Joel Aguilar contributed to his side's exit. 

"We have to remember that our bad start cost us two goals, but throughout the game there were many accidents and none of them favored us," the Argentine said.  "In that sense, I feel that [the referee] committed certain injustices."

Pekerman believes there was a clear foul in the box on Daniel Torres early in the second half that would have changed the direction of the game.

"There was a really clear penalty, really clear, that would’ve changed the game in an important way," he said. "This penalty wasn’t called, and after a player that already had a yellow card was called for a foul that’s very debatable if it should’ve been a second.

"The referee lacked management and direction. He failed to understand the importance of the game, and he had a lot to do with what we saw at the end of it."

Colombia will face the host United States in a third-place playoff, while Chile moves on to the final where it will look to defend its Copa crown against Argentina in a repeat of last year's final.