Temuco (Chile), June 26 (IANS) Peru coach Ricardo Gareca believes his team has the players to compete with Chile in their Copa America football tournament’s semi-final on Monday.
Speaking after their 3-1 win against Bolivia in the quarter-final on Thursday, Gareca said he was pleased with how his team played and that they could deliver a result the nation will be proud of.
“The enthusiasm of the players is ideal and today we went out aggressively to find the first goal,” he said.
“We’ve got the weapons to be a competitive national team, but I believe that every match we have, we keep getting better. We should play the best possible in every match to satisfy the people who always support us.”
Though Peru seemed to end the night as relatively easy winners, with forward Paolo Guerrero scoring a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory, Gareca credited his players with fending off what he saw as a Bolivian side that didn’t give up and earned a penalty that striker Mareclo Moreno converted in the 84th minute.
“What makes me the most happy is that the country is happy,” the manager said.
“Tonight we played against a rival that never gave up, with a great attitude, and it was predictable that at some point we had to keep the result, not because nobody wanted it but because they didn’t give in.”
Peru move on to play Chile in Monday’s semi-final at the Estadio Nacional stadium in Santiago.