'Sad' day for Santos as Greeks crash out
Fernando Santos (Getty Images)
Recife - The end of the Soccer World Cup was tinged with sadness in more ways than one for Greece coach Fernando Santos in what was his final match in charge of the side on Sunday.
Santos was sent away from the touchlines by Australian match referee Ben Williams prior to the penalty shoot-out that saw his side dominated 5-3 by Costa Rica, who went on to a quarter-final meeting with the Netherlands.
Santos got into an exchange with the official and was forced to watch the penalty shoot-out from an office in the belly of the Arena Pernambuco.
"There was television set in the back, that's where I saw the penalty shoot-out," said Portuguese coach Santos, who hit out at the referee's decision.
"When the match ended we were all going on the pitch to give water to players," explained Santos.
"The referee tried to stop me and when I protested by saying the entire Costa Rican squad is on the pitch, why can't I go on, he said you can't talk like that to me, and ordered me off."
As well as seeing his side fail to extend their history-making run at the tournament -- Greece were appearing in the last 16 for the first time --- Santos also found out the Greek federation held little belief of their quarter-final chances.
Santos, whose contract runs out on Monday, added: "Greece already has a new coach. That's been announced.
"And now I've found out our flight home is for 1130 on Monday. I don't know if they knew we were going to get this far or not, but ...."
Talking about the moment Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas stopped Theofanis Gekas's spot-kick during the decisive penalty shoot-out, he added: "Definitely sadness. Not much else goes through your mind at that time.
"We reached a landmark for Greece. We wanted to go on to the quarter-finals in Salvador, that's why we're sad."