Blame me, not Caballero – Sampaoli

first_imgArgentina Blame me, not Caballero – Sampaoli defends goalkeeper after blunder Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 06:24 6/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Jorge Sampaoli - cropped Getty Images Argentina World Cup Argentina v Croatia Croatia The Chelsea keeper’s mistake teed up Ante Rebic for the opening goal of a heavy defeat on Thursday, but his coach insists he is at fault Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli insists he should take the blame for their dramatic 3-0 World Cup defeat to Croatia and not goalkeeper Willy Caballero.The 36-year-old – only starting in Russia after Sergio Romero withdrew from the squad due to a knee injury – gifted Ante Rebic a 53rd-minute goal after a woeful attempted pass lacked the power to evade the forward.That set in motion a painful second half for Argentina, who conceded further goals from Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic to leave them in danger of needing a win and a swing in goal difference in their final Group D game against Nigeria to reach the last 16. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Sampaoli was quick to shield Caballero from inevitable criticism, suggesting it was his own preparation for the game that was to blame.”I was very hopeful and I have a lot of pain because of the defeat, I probably did not read the game properly,” he said.”You are right, I am the one to make the final decision on these things.”The key to the defeat relates to my responsibility because I’m the coach. I had to devise a plan, had I set up differently things might have worked out better. I don’t think it’s realistic to put the burden on Caballero.”Argentina will have a clearer idea of what they need to do in their final game after Friday’s other Group D clash between Iceland and Nigeria.Despite the shattering loss to Croatia, Sampaoli is adamant his side have not given up their pursuit of a spot in the knockout rounds.Simply incredible from #CRO as they seal their place in the knock-out stages with a historic victory!Take a bow, @HNS_CFF #ARGCRO— FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) June 21, 2018″We were very excited before this game, to be able to get the first place and be close to the qualification,” he added.”This moves us away and makes it very painful for everyone.”Now we have to fight to achieve a place in the next phase.”last_img