BUENOS AIRES - Sights set on a record
15th Copa America title, Uruguay do not want to be considered
favourites when they meet Peru in an unexpected semi-final in La
Plata on Tuesday.
In quarter-final upsets, Uruguay eliminated Lionel Messi's
Argentina on penalties while Peru beat fancied Colombia 2-0
"I don't want to talk about favourites, we've got it wrong
every time," Uruguay's coach Oscar Tabarez said on Monday.
"Any of the four teams that are in the semi-finals have a
chance of snatching the title. Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela are
not going to say: 'That's it, we've got this far'," he told a
"In this tournament, [Peru] are one of the four best teams
in South America. Their evolution is evident. We're going to try
to mark them well, we won't go out to expose ourselves as we did
in the first match. We don't believe ourselves to be superior."
Uruguay and Peru drew 1-1 in the opening match in Group C in
San Juan two weeks ago, with the World Cup semi-finalists
salvaging a draw after falling behind to a goal by Paolo
In a tournament of generally tight results, Uruguay's only
victory was 1-0 against Mexico, while Peru lost to Chile and
finished third in the group before upsetting Colombia 2-0 in
their quarter-final in Cordoba on Saturday.
Tabarez said he would prefer to be able to attack constantly
like Argentina and Brazil rather than wait for them and hit on
"If we compare ourselves with Argentina they ought to rout
us every time and that's not the case. We have to think about
what we've got and not in what we lack," he said.
Tabarez will pit his wits against equally experienced fellow
Uruguayan Sergio Markarian, at 66 two years his senior, whose
work at Peru's helm has already born early fruit despite being
deprived of leading players due to injuries.
Uruguay have forward Edinson Cavani still in doubt after he
missed the quarter-final through injury and holding midfielder
Diego Perez, who scored against Argentina but was later sent
off, is suspended but centre-back Sebastian Coates returns from
In Wednesday's semi-final in Mendoza, Paraguay, who have
drawn their four matches and eliminated Brazil on penalties,
meet surprise package Venezuela, who had never before progressed
The teams shared a thrilling 3-3 draw in their final
qualifying match with two goals in the dying minutes leaving
Venezuela top of their group.
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