USA face Paraguay in the Centenario Copa America 2016 Group A clash at Lincoln Financial Field in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
USA made a disappointing start to their Copa America campaign as they lost to Colombia 2-0 in their opening fixture. However Klinsmann’s boys came back strong in their second match and thrashed Costa Rica 4-0 to clinch the second spot in Group A. A win or a draw for USA in Saturday’s match against Paraguay will confirm them a spot in the knock-out stage.
USA manager Klinsmann asserted that his side will look for a win in Philadelphia, irrespective of the fact that even a point would be enough for them to advance to the last eight.
“This is already a knockout game on Saturday. This is it,” he said. “You need now to get at least one point. We are not playing for one point. We cannot do that. It is not our character to go for one point. We go for the win. Otherwise, we might punish ourselves, said Klinsmann.
“This is our goal, to go through that on Saturday and then play the next one-off and learn how to play these one-off games to mature in our own way towards a World Cup where we want to go further,” he added.
On the contrary Paraguay’s opening game against Costa Rica ended in a goalless draw and they lost a hard fought battle against Colombia 2-1 in their next match. With one point Paraguay is third on the points table above Costa Rica on goal difference. A win for Paraguay in Saturday’s match against USA will be enough to hand them a place in the last eight – provided Costa Rica doesn’t beat Colombia by a huge margin. To sum it up, Paraguay’s clash against USA will be a do or die battle for the South American side.
Paraguay looked in good touch against Colombia in the second half and will look to hold on to the momentum against United States, with the both the sides open to an equal chance for qualification to the next round.
“We need to play the same way we did in that second half. We were a man down for a while too with the red card but we had chances to tie the game and we know it depends on us only to qualify for the quarterfinals,’’ said Paraguay midfielder Ayla in a press conference.
“We know the game will be the most complicated one because they go through with a draw, and we must win. But we need to keep our cool, try to find the spaces and score the first chance we have. After that they’ll go after the goal and it will give us more space,” he added.
Possible XI: Guzan; Johnson, Cameron, Brooks, Yedlin; Bradley, Beckerman, Jones; Zardes, Dempsey, Wood
Possible XI: Villar; Samudio, Da Silva, Gomez, Valdez; Ayala, Piris, Ortiz, Almiron; Benitez, Lezcano.