Paraguay given 6 of the best as Argentina set up a Copa America final date against hosts Chile on Sunday.
BY STEVE NJUGUNA
Argentina defeated Paraguay by 6 goals to 1 in a one sided affair on Tuesday night to qualify for the final of the 2015 Copa America in Chile. The game was originally billed as a tough game for Argentina as Paraguay defeated Brazil in the quarter final but the Paraguayans could not maintain the same effort.
The Argentinians took the lead after only 15 minutes as Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo latched onto a Lionel Messi free kick to break the deadlock for Argentina. Paraguay’s troubles seemed to increase when forwards Derlis Gonzalez and Roque Santa Cruz were both injured. Argentina doubled their lead through Javier Pastore in the 27th minute as he slotted home after being set through by Messi. Substitute striker Lucas Barrios gave the Paraguayans a faint glimmer of hope by scoring on the stroke of halftime to leave the game at 2-1.
The second half started on a fast note as the Paraguayans pushed forward so as to find an equalizer. But their attacking intent left them exposed to Argentina’s solid midfield which easily turned the tables on them stopping them in their tracks. Just a few minutes into the second half, Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria was fed through by Pastore for their third goal. They were not done yet as Messi tested and turned the Paraguayan defense before having his shot saved, but the rebound fell kindly for Di Maria who slotted home for his second of the game. Paraguay were rendered helpless in the 80th minute when Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero latched onto a sublime cross by Angel Di Maria to head the ball in for Argentina’s fifth goal.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench and instantly got his name on the score sheet as he scored Argentina’s sixth to complete their humiliation of Paraguay. Argentina will now face hosts Chile on Sunday in the final after Chile cruised past Peru by two goals to one on Monday night.