BUENOS AIRES - Paraguay's celebrations if
they win the Copa America will be the same even if they become
the first team to lift a major trophy without a single victory,
coach Gerardo Martino said on Friday.
Argentine Martino's team, who reached the final after five
draws including two penalty shootout wins, face favourites
Uruguay in Sunday's final at River Plate's Monumental stadium.
"All that matters is to be champions. To win the Copa
America is very important," Martino, who will be serving a
two-match suspension in the final, told a news conference.
"All the draws came about in the same way and if we get the
result on Sunday I'll still celebrate it like I did against
Venezuela," he said of Paraguay's 5-3 shootout victory after a
0-0 draw in Wednesday's semi-final in Mendoza.
"If someone thinks we can't see our faults, there's no need
for them to remind us when we play badly, we know that."
Paraguay drew 0-0 with Ecuador in their opening match then
2-2 with Brazil and 3-3 with Venezuela giving away equalisers in
added-time. Their quarter-final with Brazil was another 0-0 draw
they settled 2-0 on penalties.
Martino said if Paraguay won the trophy for the third time,
and first since 1979, it would crown a process he launched in
2007, meeting goals along the way including improved World Cup
qualifying results and a best-ever place in the last eight.
"It's clear Uruguay have reached the final going from less
to more with their best performance against Peru [in a 2-0
semi-final win]. We're in a process that's exactly the reverse,"
He said he regretted his suspension, handed down after a
free-for-all between Paraguayans and Venezuelans at the end of
their clash in Mendoza.
"I'm sorry not to be by the pitch, not because my presence
might be more or less important, but because I feel I committed
another serious error and it's unpardonable for a coach not to
be by his players," Martino said.
The Paraguayans have recognized they rode their luck against
Brazil and Venezuela, who both created more chances and deserved
But Martino's Uruguayan counterpart Oscar Tabarez said there
was nothing he could to do change Paraguay's good fortune.
"The only thing we can do with luck is wish to have it,"
Tabarez said. "Luck is something you can't practice, control or
forsee. In my case I don't worry about luck."
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