Cocu ‘bitter’ after shootout defeat

PSV Eindhoven manager Phillip Cocu admits that his team are “hugely disappointed” after exiting the Champions league with a penalty shootout defeat to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

A 0-0 draw in the second leg at Estadio Vicente Calderon, preceded by a goalless first leg in the Netherlands, saw the match to to extra time and beyond.

The Dutch side scored their first seven penalties, as did Atleti, until Luciano Narsingh hit the post, allowing Juanfran to win the tie 8-7 with his decisive spot-kick.

“We came really close. It is very bitter to go out like this after the eighth penalty,” Cocu told SBS6. “I think we did well in all aspects, but it was just not enough.

“It says a lot that neither of the two teams could score. We were both very well organised. They did not create a lot of big chances, apart from the early one for [Antoine] Griezmann.

“We did well and were very disciplined. We gave our all and I can only be proud of our performance. I think we gave a good account of ourselves, but this exit still leaves a bitter taste because we came so close. But I am obviously pleased with our performance over two games.”

Striker Luuk De Jong was replaced by Narsingh in the closing stages after picking up an injury, and he echoed his manager’s thoughts on the defeat, but the Eredivisie top scorer insisted that it was best for him to come off.

“I just could not,” De Jong told SBS6 of the injury. “In the end I jumped again in the air and I felt when landing both hamstrings. I didn’t want to take any chances to break something. And we had a substitution left, so why not?

“It’s disappointing because we played good football and made it very difficult for Atletico. The penalty shootout could fall either way and unfortunately it was not ours.”

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