x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Uruguary wary of Chilean attack

The world Cup semi-finalists want to close the gap on their rivals and Copa America group C pacesetters.

MENDOZA, Argentina // Dark horses Uruguay say they must go all out for victory as they come up against Group C pacesetters Chile tonight.

A 1-1 draw with Peru was not what the 2010 World Cup semi-finalists had expected but their failure to break down the Andeans allowed Chile to open up a two-point lead at the top of the group following their entertaining 2-1 success over Mexico.

With three points secured the Chileans would regard a draw in Mendoza as a fine result and Fernando Muslera, the Uruguay keeper, and the striker Edinson Cavani said yesterday that their rivals must be sent firmly packing at the Malvinas stadium.

"We have to win this one as that will settle us down," Muslera told reporters, while Cavani echoed his assessment.

"We really need the three points. It's our dream to win this tournament and so we have to get into winning ways," the Napoli striker said.

Lazio's Muslera insisted that the Peru match had to be seen as a building block rather than a failure of some kind.

"Yes, we wanted to win it of course. But it was important not to lose too. The fear of losing is always there and every match at a Copa is a difficult hurdle. This tournament has shown as much," said Muslera, in allusion to Brazil's failure to beat Venezuela and Argentina's dropped points against Bolivia and Colombia.

Muslera predicted Chile would be more adventurous than were Peru.

"I think it will be a more open game - Chile like to come at you and go on the attack."

In Cavani's view, "that the team that makes less mistakes will win it".

Many neutrals have predicted that this Copa could see the international coming of age of the stylish Chilean Alexis Sanchez, who looks likely to join Barcelona from Udinese after the tournament - but Cavani pinpoints Humberto Suazo as the danger man.

"Suazo is a great goalscorer while Alexis is very fast and skilful on the ball who has a great understanding with Mauricio Isla [on the right]".

Cavani maintains that Sanchez "can make the difference at any moment".

Chile meanwhile hope to have Matias Fernandez in their starting line-up despite the wide man going off injured against Mexico.

"He is neither ruled out nor confirmed fit," was Chile team doctor Luis Maya's view though he added that tests had ruled out a serious injury.

Chile's Argentinian coach Claudio Borghi said he admired Uruguay's strength of character and held them in the highest respect.

"It's when you think they are down that they bounce back up again. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay were people's candidates to win the tournament at the start and they remain so," said Borghi, promising to pay special attention to Diego Forlan, the Uruguay striker. "He is a threat all over the pitch and we have great respect for him."

In tonight's other game, Peru face Mexico.

* Agence France-Presse

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