Colombian Under-20 soccer coach Eduardo Lara has said his current squad of youngsters have a bright future despite crashing out to Mexico on Saturday.
In an interview with Caracol Radio, Lara said, “the seeds have been sown to be harvested in the future.”
He added, “I have to emphasize that this group of lads played with their hearts and souls, like I always teach my players to do.”
Colombian hopes for the tournament rocketed after the Cafeteros trounced one the favorites, France, 4-1 in their opening game. However, after qualifying from the group stage, the team’s defensive frailties were exposed as they conceded five goals in their last two matches.
In Saturday’s post-match press conference Lara that he was “the only one responsible” for Colombia’s defeat but refused to be drawn on his future as coach. He said, “this is not an issue for me; the Colombian Soccer Federation will take whatever decision needs to be taken. They have the last word.”
The first of the semi-finals will take place on Wednesday when France meet Portugal. On Thursday, Mexico take on Brazil for the right to meet the winners.