Lionel Scaloni confident that Argentina can progress against Venezuela

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has said that he is confident of the team’s progress to the semi-final stage of the Copa America. The South American nation only scrapped through to the knockout stages after a 2-0 triumph over Qatar in the final group game but Scaloni believes the players will carry some confidence from that result.

Speaking to reporters, he said that the win over Qatar has provided the team with an emotional boost and he is confident that the players can rise up to the challenge presented by Venezuela at the quarter-final phase, he told: “We think we’re good because we came from a win that gave us a significant emotional boost. It’s going to be a difficult game, but we are confident.”

Argentina have dominated the proceedings against Venezuela in the Copa America over the years and they have won each of the five meetings while scoring 28 goals in the process. When asked about the statistic, Scaloni said that football has evolved and the team can’t underestimate their opponents, who played out a goalless draw versus Brazil during the group stage, he continued: “Football has evolved. Nowadays, every team has difficulty.”

Concluding the conference, Scaloni reiterated that the team feel like they are going into a war and the fans should be more supportive of the players despite the poor beginning to the competition, he ended: “Sometimes, these guys go out to play a soccer game and they seem to go out and play a war. With the pressure on them sometimes it is difficult to play. The message should be that while playing in the Copa America we are all on the same side.”

Argentina are genuine favourites to progress to the last four of the competition and should that end up being the case, they could face either Uruguay or Peru. In most likeliness, Argentina and Uruguay should feature at the semi-final stage, although a shock exit at the last eight cannot be ruled out for either.