‘Argentina should beat Chile in Copa final’

Concepcion (Chile), July 3 (IANS) Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz has said Argentina will beat Chile and win the Copa America if they play like they did in their stunning 6-1 win over his side in the semis.

Paraguay held Argentina to a 2-2 draw in their Group B opener on June 13, but were outclassed in the last-four clash here on Tuesday and now face Peru in the third-place play-off on Friday night while Gerardo Martino’s men meet hosts Chile in the final in Santiago on Saturday.

“If Argentina play that way, like they did against us, Chile have no chance,” Diaz said in a press conference on Thursday.

“For the quality of their players, the time they have been working together, I think the result will be very favourable for the Argentine national team.”

He added: “They are the best team in the world. With respect to Chile, Argentina have played better than anyone else in this second phase. We will see what the reality is on Saturday, but this Argentine national team is one of the best sides I have seen in a long time.”

Diaz, whose side have exceeded expectations in this competition after Paraguay came last in the World Cup qualifiers for Brazil 2014, looked ahead to the game against Peru in Concepción on Friday.

“You have to play the third-place game,” he said. “Our rival will want to win just as much as we do and they will play with the same intensity,” he added.

“The objectives for this Copa America were to get the group believing in themselves again, for them to have order and for them to be an organised national team in every sense. So we are very satisfied.

“To face Argentina, Uruguay and the champions of the Concacaf was anyways going to be very hard, but we showed we could go out and compete with anyone.”

Paraguay lost to Uruguay 0-3 in the 2011 final, which they reached without a win in the entire tournament, or needing to score after the group stages.

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