Argentina, Mexico to clash in semis

Updated: 11 July 2007 12:09 IST

Mexico played a man up after Paraguay goalkeeper Aldo Bobadilla was ejected in the third minute and went on to a 6-0 rout in the Copa America on Sunday.

Argentina, Mexico to clash in semis

Barquisimeto:

Mexico played a man up after Paraguay goalkeeper Aldo Bobadilla was ejected in the third minute and went on to a 6-0 rout in the Copa America on Sunday, setting up a semifinal against tournament favorite Argentina.

Argentina, which beat Peru 4-0 in Sunday's second quarterfinal, knocked Mexico out of last year's World Cup in the second round, coming from behind for a 2-1 overtime victory in Leipzig, Germany.

Their semifinal in the South American championship will be on Wednesday in Puerto Ordaz. Defending champion Brazil meets Uruguay in Tuesday's semifinal at Maracaibo. The final is on Sunday.

Paraguay was disoriented moments into the quarterfinal at Maturin when Bobadilla tripped up Nery Castillo and was sent off. Third-string 'keeper Joel Zayas came in for midfielder Jonathan Santana, upsetting Paraguay's attack, and Zayas never touched Castillo's penalty shot.

"We committed the mistake of unraveling very quickly," Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said. "We're going home totally humiliated and emotionally quite poor."

Need to improve

Gerardo Torrado doubled Mexico's lead in the 22nd minute, and Castillo scored his second in the 38th to bolster his tournament tally to four, two shy of leader Robinho of Brazil.

Fernando Arce, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Omar Bravo scored in the second half to cap the blowout.

Mexico has reached the semifinals for the fifth time in seven appearances as a guest. Twice it has advanced to the final, losing one to Argentina in 1993.

"Getting to the semifinals is difficult in a continent to which we don't belong," Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez said. "But now that we're facing the best team we need to continue improving."

Argentina put aside a scoreless first half against Peru, and turned over the scoreboard just two minutes after the restart when Juan Roman Riquelme muscled a left-footed volley past diving goalkeeper Leao Butron for the first of his two goals.

That goal "ruined everything we had done well in the first half," Peru coach Julio Cesar Uribe said.

Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano found the net, too, and Riquelme scored his fourth goal of the tournament five minutes from the end off a fast break by Messi.

"We played with lots of patience, moving the ball all over the field," Argentina coach Alfio Basile said. "Then in the second half, they paid dearly for all the running around and pressuring."



Topics : Football
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