Chile must be perfect to beat Argentina, defender says

Reuters , Friday 3 Jul 2015

Argentina's national soccer team players Lionel Messi (R), Javier Mascherano (L), Nicolas Otamendi (2nd L) and Pablo Zabaleta participate in a team training session in Concepcion(Photo: Reuters)

Chile will have to put on a perfect display in the Copa America final to overcome favourites Argentina and win the tournament for the first time, defender Gary Medel said on Friday.

On the eve of the clash in Santiago, Medel said they were focused on sharpening communication after they only just edged Peru 2-1 in the semi-finals.

"We need to play the perfect game in defence and communicate well in every sense of the word given they are going to be very mobile because they are great players who can create space in just two metres," he said. "We must be prepared."

Chile have reached the Copa America final twice before and never won the tournament but they hope to end that hoodoo on Saturday night in front of their home fans.

Medel singled out Lionel Messi as the man who could most threaten the hosts but warned that last year's World Cup finalists have several other players who can destroy defences.

"In general, as a team, we will have to play well defensively because the (Argentina team) is not just Messi, who is one of the best in the world, but also (Angel) Di Maria, (Sergio) Aguero, who are also great players," Medel told reporters.

Aguero is Argentina's top scorer so far with three goals, while Di Maria has two.

One of the most consistent performers in coach Jorge Sampaoli's side, Medel acknowledged the pressure will be on the home side in front of a capacity crowd at the National Stadium in Santiago but said they must not change their style.

"The pressure is always going to be there and we are used to playing with it," Medel said. "I think that we have to show what we've done so far, what the team knows it can do, and not change what we've done so far in this Copa America."

Chile have beaten Argentina once in 38 competitive matches.

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