Corinthians coach Tiago Nunes has criticised referee Nestor Pitana after his side suffered a shock elimination from the Copa Libertadores qualifying stages.

Despite defeating Guarani 2-1 in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, Corinthians crashed out on away goals against the Paraguayan side, who last week won the first leg in Asuncion 1-0.

Nunes’ main gripe was with Pitana’s decision to penalise Gil for a foul on Raul Bobadilla, awarding a free-kick that Fernando Fernandez guided into the top-left corner from the edge of the box in the 53rd minute.

“I would like to thank our supporters, who greatly appreciated the efforts of the players and applauded after the match. And I congratulate the players for what they did, they gave a lot. We created enough to win,” said Nunes.

“At the same time, I want to apologise to Brazilian referees for the criticism we’ve given, even more after facing terrible refereeing by Nestor.

“He’s an experienced guy, who knows how to take the game the way he wants it. It was decisive.

“There was a foul that did not happen – Gil did not touch their player. When things get out of our control … it’s difficult to make an accurate assessment.”