Soccer News of Fri, 27 Jun 20141
Capello defensive after exit
Fabio Capello was unhappy that a laser pen had been shone in the eye of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev following Russia’s World Cup elimination, while he has defended his record as manager.
With South Korea losing to Belgium in Thursday’s other Group H match, a victory for Russia would have taken them through to the last 16.
They took the lead thanks to Aleksandr Kokorin's sixth-minute goal in Curitiba, but Islam Slimani equalised to give Algeria the point they needed to progress at Russia’s expense and leave Capello frustrated.
"We didn't make any mistakes today, we really didn't," the Italian said. "We played an excellent game, had the opportunities to score the goal and win. "Their goalkeeper had a couple of excellent saves, so up until this moment, well, I can't say there were any mistakes today. There just weren't."
Capello was accused of making too many excuses in the post-match press conference, including his anger that goalkeeper Akinfeev, had a laser pen shone in his face just before Slimani levelled.
He said: “He was blinded by the laser beam, that is the absolute truth. There are pictures. You can see that in the footage. This not an excuse, it is a fact. There was a laser. I have never come up with excuses to get by in my entire life.”
Capello insisted his complaints did not deflect attention from the performance of Algeria, adding: “Never, never. I would never do that. You have to listen to when I speak so that I don’t have to repeat the same things: I said very clearly that I have great respect for Algerian team. I just said that very clearly!
“The only thing is that we had a chance to score another goal and instead we conceded a goal, as I think you saw.”
Capello has now taken charge of seven World Cup games and won only one – when England beat Slovenia 1-0 four years ago.
He has been criticised on not focusing enough on Russia’s future as the country prepares to host the World Cup in 2018, having only started two players under the age of 27 against Algeria.
Asked if he would carry on as Russia manager, Capello said: “If they want me.”
Capello does not believe he should be criticised after getting Russia to Brazil, while he also defended his record with England when asked if he thought he was equipped to lead Russia into 2018.
“We’ll have to ask the management that,” he said, before adding: “As for England, we did actually reach the knockout round and, by the way, let me make this clear: it was thanks to us that they introduced goalline technology (after Frank Lampard had a goal which was not given against Germany).
“I qualified your team to participate in the Euros and the World Cup and the figures I got were pretty respectable.
“And now after 12 years (of not qualifying), under my leadership this (Russia) team made it to the World Cup, OK? I did a pretty good job there I think but if you were to say that we have not done a good job here then I agree with you.”
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