After Paraguay’s comeback from 2-0 down in their opening Copa America tie against Argentina, Gerardo Martino’s men will not be making the same mistake of becoming complacent again.
However, they still go into the match as strong favourites despite their narrow win on penalties against Colombia in the previous round.
Paraguay impressed as they deservingly knocked out Brazil on penalties after a 1-1 draw to reach the semi-finals. And centre-back Pablo Aguilar has revealed that reaching the last-four was their initial target in Chile. “I think that this group has put the name of Paraguay up high — we are among the best four,” said Aguilar.
However, Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero had words of warning for the Paraguayan going into their semi-final clash, saying that goals were just around the corner for skipper Lionel Messi, whose only goal in the tournament so far came from the penalty spot in the first match against Paraguay. “Messi is always under such pressure to score goals. It is the same for me, though there are 10 players in the team other than yourself,” said the 28-year-old Manchester City striker. “Obviously everyone can make mistakes, but Messi always gambles and keeps going and going. And that gives us all confidence, because if Leo keeps going then we do too.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.
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