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Copa America: The Peak of Perfection

12 July 2007 16:10

Argentina put in a winning virtuoso performance in last night's Copa America semi-final worthy of every superlative there is to describe words such as beautiful, magical, and mastery. It was the night that magic came to town.

"There's nothing left but to recognize just how good this Argentina team really is."

These were the words of dejected Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez who also admitted, "We tried our best, but we must say the opponents were superior."

Superior is just one of a mammoth list of words that could have described the way Argentina played, toyed, disciplined and taught the young pretenders from Mexico a harsh lesson in dominance. The 3-0 score line left fans drooling at the wizardry and manner by which the Argentines took their goal scoring tally to 16 goals in 5 games in the tournament so far. One goal in particular, scored by Lionel Messi had Coach Alfio Basile as well as the large crowd on offer in awe. "O nly a genius, a superstar could do this. It was an extraordinary feat that moved everybody," Basile said after the game.

Such brilliance has been a familiar scene from the young Argentine which has brought regular comparisons to the legendary Diego Maradona. When asked about the pair, Basile said, " I have had the pleasure of training both of them, and both of them can do what common players cannot. However, to compare Maradona with a boy who is just starting out is not fair."

Boy he may be, but everyone especially Brazilian coach Carlos Dunga knows that stopping this 'kid' at play is vital to Brazil's chances of winning back to back Copa America titles in Sunday's final. Having reached every final of the Copa America since 1995, with the exception of the 2001 version, the boys in yellow know that there is still room for optimism despite turning in some lack luster performances at early in the tournament.

Dung a had previously stated, "Teams who play expansive football never beat efficient teams." Now we will finally see if Dunga's theory of efficiency versus expansive proves to be true. So far, expansive seems to be winning.

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