AN EMOTIONAL Sylvain Distin insisted his error was the reason Everton missed out on a place in the FA Cup final.
The French defender’s underhit backpass was seized upon by Luis Suarez for Liverpool’s equaliser, and at the final whistle Distin gestured his apology to supporters.
Distin, 34, displayed huge strength of character to face the media after Saturday’s game, and took responsibility for the result, despite the mistake only allowing the Reds to level.
He said: “Obviously the most important emotion is the final one, it is not easy, I know that I cost my team-mates, the fans and my family a place in the final and that is my point of view.
“I don’t think I am hard on myself, I am a realist, that’s it. That pass, for me, cost us the game. I have to face it. I never hide no matter what happens, good or bad.
“Tomorrow will be frustrating, right now it is disappointment. I feel like I have let my team-mates down.”
Everton’s players rallied round Distin after the Wembley showdown, but it provided little consolation to the consistently impressive Frenchman.
“The guys have been amazing but they know me, they know I am man enough to face my responsibilities,” he said after Leighton Baines and Tim Cahill both hinted that the pitch played a part in his pass not reaching Tim Howard.
“They don’t need to tell me what I did right and wrong because I am mature enough to know that,” he said.
“I have to deal with it and accept it. I could use 50,000 excuses but the fact is I missed the pass and I cost a goal and cost the game because it changed the game.”