As Paraguay prepare to face Copa America Centenario hosts the United States on Saturday, coach Ramon Diaz said “for us this a final”.
Paraguay take on USA in Philadelphia, requiring nothing less than a win from the final Group A fixture to stand any chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.
Diaz and Co. are two points adrift of second-placed USA following Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to group leaders Colombia, having opened the centenary tournament with a goalless draw against Costa Rica.
“I want to do this so that every Paraguayan sees that we know what we’re doing, that we’re convinced about the players we have,” Diaz told reporters on the eve of the clash as he made his line-up public.
“We’re going to go for the result because we understand a win is our only option.
“Both, the players and the coaching staff need to show what we’re made of, and I want the Paraguayans to be calm just like we are for [Saturday]’s game.
“For us this is a final, because it will be an achievement to knock out the hosts that will have the support of their fans.
“We have to be very intelligent for this kind of games. We’re going to have to overcome the pressures on the field, as well as those external.”
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