Paraguay ride their luck to move into Copa America finals

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Copa America 2011
Mendoza, Jul 21: Paraguay are for sure living a charmed life in the Copa America 2011, or else there can be no other way to explain their way into the finals of the tournament. It was yet another drawn match for Paraguay but as has been the trend in the tournament so far, they won the match on the basis of a penalty shootout.

For the record, Paraguay have not won a single match in the tournament so far and all their matches have been decided by penalty shootouts. It happened again in the Jul 20 semi-final encounter against Venezuela where they won 5-3 on penalties.

They will now take on Uruguay in the Copa America 2011 title clash on Jul 24. And this is Paraguay's first Copa America final since 1979.

Paraguay's Nestor Ortigoza, who scored one of the goals in the penalty shootout, in the post-match conference expressed disappointment over the way they played in the tournament. He said, "Today we played bad, we played good. The important thing is we won."

Venezuela coach Cesar Farias was understandably upset at the outcome of the match despite his boys playing really well to take the match to the shootouts. He said, "We came convinced we could advance. We did everything humanly possible. Our team never lost its focus. ... We're not content because we worked to go farther."

The match also saw the players and the coaching staff of the two teams in a violent face-off. It happened after the match got over and Paraguay players were celebrating when the brawl broke out, forcing local police to intervene and escort the players back.

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