Brazil wary of ‘strong team’ Paraguay: Coach Dunga

Santiago, June 22 (IANS) Brazil coach Dunga has hailed Paraguay as a “strong team” as he turned his attention towards his team’s Copa America quarter-final opponents following a 2-1 win over Venezuela in the final round of Group C matches.

Defender Thiago Silva and forward Roberto Firmino netted for the 2014 World Cup hosts to open up a commanding lead before forward Miku pulled a late goal back for Venezuela on Sunday. Brazil held on to their lead to take top spot in Group C and confirm their place in the last eight, where they will play Paraguay in Concepcion on June 27.

“I think Paraguay are a strong team with a very tactical coach,” said Dunga after the match.

“We hope to recover all our players. They showed their strength against Argentina, a favourite, and have grown a lot in the last few matches. The final phase is a tournament apart, there is no room for a wrong move.”

Brazil are facing the knockout phase without captain Neymar, who is suspended for four matches following his red card against Colombia.

And while Dunga admitted that the 23-year-old’s absence would be felt, he is confident that Brazil will find a way forward without him.

“Neymar would be important to any team,” he said.

“When he’s not there though you have to find a solution. The Copa America is difficult because in every game there has been a difference of only one goal. Only Chile have achieved something different. Now we have to play to win.”

“We always work to make sure the team doesn’t depend on only one player. We try to make sure that everyone can make the difference. We believe now that Brazil will play better, have more capacity for that and have confidence.

“Matches in the final stages are always harder and more even. We have to use more our technical quality,” he added.

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