Copa America Semi-Final, Argentina vs Paraguay: Messi’s Last Hurldle To Finals
Paraguay will face Argentina for the second time in this year’s Copa America on Tuesday. The first match in the group stage ended in a 2-2 draw.
In the first meeting Argentina dominated the first half of the game and were ahead by two goals. In the second half the Paraguayan side made a dramatic comeback and scored two fine goals to make the score level.
Before the semi final, Paraguayan striker Nelson Valdez wants to make sure that Argentina does not dominate the game as they did in the group stage match.
Since then Paraguay have played well and surpassed all expectations. The match with Uruguay ended in a draw and then they caused a massive upset by throwing out Brazil from the competition on penalty shootouts.
Valdez who scored the first goal in the comeback with Argentina said in an interview that they don’t want to make the same mistake and would try to create pressure on the opponent from the beginning. Valdez also said they are proud to be among the top four teams in South America.
Paraguay have lifted the trophy twice in 1953 and 1979. They reached the finals in 2011 but lost to Uruguay.
Argentina reached the semi final by defeating Colombia on penalty shoot as the match ended 0-0 in normal game time. Argentina lifted the trophy in 1993 and since then the team has not tasted much success in the tournament.
Argentina has scored only four times in the tournament and their star striker Lionel Messi seems to be out of form as he netted the ball once in the entire group stage and quarter final. However Gerardo Martino is confident that his top guns in the forward would fire in the semi final.
Attacking midfielder Javier Pastore believes that the team played well against Colombia and said that it was the best game in the entire Martino era.
With two top strikers- Messi and Aguero up in the front Argentina is expected to dominate the proceedings from the very beginning. However Messi, Aguero and Mascherano are just one card away to be ruled out of the finals. It is thus expected that Gerardo Martino will adopt precaution as they look forward to reach the finals of the Copa America.