Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz paid tribute to his players’ organisation after they drew 1-1 with defending champions Uruguay to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Copa America on Saturday.
Diaz and Co. advanced to the last eight in second position in Group B behind pre-tournament favourites Argentina, after Lucas Barrios equalised on the stroke of half-time, cancelling out Jose Gimenez’s 29th-minute opener in La Serena.
Paraguay emerged from the group with a win and two draws and Diaz told reporters: “The balance is really good in the team at the moment.
“When this tournament started we had to face Argentina, Jamaica and Uruguay, and today we have booked a place in the quarter-finals.
“This was all due to the effort and hard work of the players, they were the stars. I am very happy with what we have done.
“Today was a tough match, but we drew against a good opponent. We played well and managed to react to a difficult situation with determination. They dominated the ball at times and we did in others, it was a tough game for both of us.”
Paraguay will face the winner of Group C in the quarters, which could be Brazil, who top the standings on goal difference heading into Sunday’s showdown against Venezuela.
Diaz added: “I have to thank people for the support they have given to me and my family. Today we had to give a performance that people could support and follow us.
“We have to stay calm but also continued to give the maximum so that they continue to accompany us throughout the whole of the tournament.”
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