Chile penalty hero Claudio Bravo has revealed he couldn’t play at his normal level during the Confederations Cup semi-final against Portugal on Wednesday night because he was injured.
Bravo saved all three Portugal penalties to send Chile into the final after the match ended 0-0, with Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez all on target from the spot for the South Americans.
But despite keeping out poor spot-kicks from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani, Manchester City goalkeeper Bravo – who arrived in Russia with a calf problem and only came into the first team for their last group game against Australia – was understated in his assessment of the match.
“I feel as I always do. I’m a very balanced person,” he said. “I was injured and didn’t play at my normal pace.
“But I normally take things calmly and this was a very special game for us. We were able to reach the final which is very important for us, we’re completing a very successful cycle. We’re happy to play in the final.
“I don’t think it’s only chance. I think you need to work a lot, you need to study your opponent. I think we played with our heads. We were quite tired at the end but playing with our heads as well as our hearts.
“I knew what I had to do. Of course we’re very happy because we’ve been able to stop the European champions.
“Portugal had many chances to score. I think the game was quite balanced. Both teams showed great respect for the other.
“The secret, I think, is that we never stop believing in ourselves and we want to do everything we can to win. We still have one more game to win.”