Argentina are out to end their 14 year Copa America famine when they
meet their rival South American footballing superpower Brazil in
Argentina set up this revenge meeting - they were beaten by Brazil on
penalties in the last final in Peru three years ago - with a 3-0 rout of
Mexico in Ciuduad Guayana on Wednesday.
Gabriel Heinze, Lionel Messi and Juan Roman Riquelme were all on the
mark to ensure their place in Sunday's showpiece encounter at the Jose
Pachencho Romero Stadium in Maracaibo.
Argentina will be bidding for a record 15th Copa America title against
the seven-times and reigning champions Brazil, who struggled to defeat
Uruguay 5-4 on penalties on Tuesday in the first semi-final, which ended
2-2 after regular time.
"It's a great classic, a unique match. Anything can happen," predicted
Brazil manager Dunga who although he'd never admit it finds himself in
the unusual position of being in charge of the underdogs on Sunday.
Argentine's Inter Milan defender Javier Zanetti asserted that his
country were up to the challenge that lies ahead.
"It's another chance and I hope we'll seize it. We're enjoying a good
spell and we're showing that each time we play."
Both teams have looked at this as a means to overcome the disappointment
of missing out in last year's World Cup in Germany and to lay the
groundwork for qualifying for the 2010 edition in South Africa.
Brazil are an altogether different side to the one knocked out by France
in the 2006 world Cup, with Dunga taking over as coachand stalwarts
Ronaldo, Robert Carlos, Cafu and Adriano, all getting the axe.
Ronaldinho and Kaka have also missed out on the competition having
requested to be overlooked as they recover from their seasons in Europe.
This has given the chance for Dunga to blood new talent which scrapped
through against Uruguay in a match that had to be stopped for almost
quarter of an hour due to floodlight failure.
Brazil though will have to do without their captain, Gilberto Silva, the
Arsenal midfielder who was ruled out after picking up a second yellow
card in the semi-final win.
Robinho heads the race for the golden boot award with six goals, with
Riquelme on five.