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Chile, Argentina deserve final spots – Mena

Eugenio Mena said he believes Chile and Argentina are worthy Copa America  finalists as they have been the best sides at the competition.

The left-back came on from the bench for the second half of the 2015 hosts’ semi-final clash with Peru on Monday, when Jorge Sampaoli’s men booked a spot in the final with a 2-1 win.

Chile have never won the tournament in its 99-year history – finishing as a runner-up on four occasions.

He feels that his side and Gerardo Martino’s men both deserve their place in Saturday’s showpiece in Santiago, and insisted that the hosts are not scared of taking on Lionel Messi and co.

“La Roja and Argentina are the two best teams at the Copa America 2015 and deserve to be in the final,” Mena told a news conference.

“We have to work to the maximum, as the occasion will ask for it. We know that Argentina have dangerous players in midfield and going forward.

“We are not scared. We will play as we always play. We go out to play in the same way no matter who we face.

“Argentina have various options in attack, but we will work hard to nullify them and their system.

“The result could be dependent on anything, but we must stay focused on our own game.”

Fellow Chile defender Jose Rojas emphasised the importance of team unity as they prepare to take on what he considers to be one of the best sides in international football.

“We all have one dream and as a team and a country we have to stay closely united,” the Universidad de Chile man said.

“We are facing up against one of the best national teams, but the script is always thrown away for a final. On Saturday we have to show that we have the home advantage in Chile, at home and with our people.

“Argentina will come out of the blocks quickly, it will be a game where we have to be very wary.

“La Roja have a
lot to say. We are at home. We will take all of that energy onto the pitch.

“It is a final, a party and we will fight the same as we always do for our dream.”

Chile will once again be able to rely on a raucous home crowd at the Estadio Nacional for the final, and the 32-year-old hopes they can win the trophy for their supporters.

“There is a whole country behind us. There is a lot of excitement and the people deserve to see La Roja as champions,” Rojas added.

“We are going to leave everything on the field at the final whistle. La Roja have a philosophy and a style of play that we are not going to change.

“We are very grateful for all of the support that we have received, from all of the fans of different teams. Nothing is impossible. Our group is hungry and wants to win something important for Chile.”

Wed 1 Jul, 2015
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