Chile must play a “perfct match” to defeat Colombia on Friday in Sao Paulo and advance in defending the CONMEBOL Copa América title, striker José Pedro Fuenzalida said Wednesday.
“Against Colombia we have to play a perfect match, defend very well and improve” in the elaboration of offensive plays, said the player from the Catholic University in a press conference at the hotel that hosts La Roja in Sao Paulo.
“All the matches have been important at the time because of what each one means and this is undoubtedly the most important one we are going to play, it is a rival that comes very well. We have the illusion to continue advancing and to defend the title”, he added.
The 34-year-old striker, who would be in the starting lineup against the “cafeteros” on Friday at the Arena Corinthians, said his rivals come with “confidence” after passing from Group B as leaders with a perfect score.
– No favoritism –
For his part, goalkeeper Gabriel Arias said Chile’s idea is to defend the titles won in the last two editions of the Copa America, in 2015 and 2016.
“When we face this tournament, we face it with that mindset, of being able to win a new title and of defending the titles we’ve won”, said the 31-year-old goalkeeper. “This is a good opportunity”.
Arias, who is making his Copa América debut after years of Claudio Bravo occupying the Chilean portico, said Chile must take advantage of the spaces left by the Colombian defense, which has not received goals in the tournament, to then be “sharp and accurate” in the definition.
The game “is not one of favourites, the one that does things best is the one that’s going to advance”, said the goalkeeper of the Argentinian team Racing, who has conceded two goals in all three games in Brazil-2019.
Chile, led by the Colombian Reinaldo Rueda, qualified to the quarterfinals as second in Group C, after losing the lead in the final match of the first phase with their 1-0 loss to Uruguay on Monday in Rio de Janeiro.
The twice champion of America was training the afternoon of this Wednesday in the center of practices of the brazilian club Sao Paulo. Captain Gary Medel, who was replaced against the Charrúas due to a physical discomfort, and midfielder Arturo Vidal, absent against the Uruguayans for prevention, would be playing the game against the “cafeteros”.
La Roja is competing to equal Argentina’s record, who so far is the only team to win the oldest national team trophy in the world for three consecutive times (1945, 1946 and 1947).
The winner between Chile and Colombia will face the winner of the match that will be played between Uruguay and Peru on Saturday in Salvador de Bahia.