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01st-Jul-2015

Argentine coaches square off in Copa America semi-finals

By Agency


Only three teams are left in the Copa America and whichever lifts the trophy next weekend, one thing is guaranteed -- the winning coach will be an Argentine.
Argentina take on Paraguay in the southern Chilean city of Concepcion in the second semi-final on Tuesday.
Hosts Chile have already sealed their second successive Copa final berth after beating Peru 2-1 in the first semi-final.
All four teams, however, have Argentine coaches. Chile are led by Jorge Sampaoli, Peru by Ricardo Gareca, Argentina by Gerardo Martino and Paraguay by Ramon Diaz.
"It's a source of great happiness for the whole country that we not only have top-class players but also top-class coaches," Diaz said after his side disposed of Brazil in a penalty shootout on Saturday.
Argentina looked good in their last match against Colombia but once again struggled to find the net, despite having attacking talents Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria in their starting lineup.
In the end it was their reserve striker, Carlos Tevez, who eased them into the last four with the decisive penalty in a shootout.
Their opponents Paraguay are perhaps the most unlikely of the semi-finalists, although they have already faced the three most successful sides in South American football history -- Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay -- and come through unbeaten.
Tuesday's match will be a repeat of their group clash against Argentina, when they battled back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw.
A number of players go into the semi on yellow cards and if they are booked would miss the final. They include Messi and his Argentine team mate Javier Mascherano.