Coach lauds Paraguay for avoiding defeat by ‘big three’

Concepcion (Chile), June 28 (IANS) Paraguay coach Ramon Daaz hailed his team after they advanced to the semi-finals of the Copa America and boasted: “We have played Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil – and none of them has been able to beat us.”

They drew 2-2 with Argentina and 1-1 with Uruguay in the group stages, before beating Brazil on penalties on Saturday after a 1-1 tie here on Saturday.

Along with favourites Argentina and hosts Chile, Paraguay remain unbeaten in the continental competition after four games and now face Argentina in the last four.

“The players, the directors, everyone here is very happy. This is very important for us – a great step to carry on believing in this project,” Diaz said after the game.

“We have played Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil – and none of them have been able to beat us. You have to have a lot of respect for this team. The players have shown the fans just what they are capable of doing,” Diaz said.

Diaz now meets his compatriots again in the semi-finals and he said: “Argentina are the best national team in the world. We know them well and there won’t be much time to enjoy this special moment.”

In the meantime, however, Paraguay have more than fulfilled their objective in this competition and are in the last four for the second edition in a row.

“We are very happy with the game we played. It’s a great satisfaction,” Diaz said.

“At the end of the match we looked to push Brazil back with the changes that we made and we could have scored another goal. Both teams were trying to score; it was exciting and we were lucky enough to go through.”

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