Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his team were unlucky, adding that he would take "a lot of positive things" from their 2-1 loss to West Ham United.
Goals by Cheikhou Kouyate and Edimilson Fernandes trumped Gary Cahill's late strike as West Ham booked an EFL Cup quarterfinal against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Conte made seven changes to his starting line-up at the London Stadium and said that the fringe players who played were reason for hope.
"The performance for me was good," Conte said. "We knew that these types of games are very difficult against a strong team like West Ham."
"We played a good game with good intensity, and we created many chances to score goals," the Italian said. "I saw a good spirit in my players because until the end they tried to change the result."
"We created many chances, but today we were a bit unlucky in this aspect," he said. "It's a pity that we can't play in this competition in the future."
Nathaniel Chalobah and Ola Aina were in the starting lineup as Conte gave the younger players a chance.
"I think that this cup was very important to check the development of our young players," Conte said. "We have good young players and they need to play. For this reason I'm disappointed that we can't play in this competition in the future."
"They played a good game, with good intensity and good concentration," he said. "It's normal that when you lose you see only bad things, but I think that tonight I found a lot of positive things in this game."
Chelsea next play Southampton in the Premier League this weekend.