Brazil eyeing ‘new chapter’ against Argentina in Copa America semifinals

Brazil eyeing ‘new chapter’ against Argentina in Copa America semifinals

Agency News

Belo Horizonte, Jul 2 : Brazil head coach Tite said that his players will be ready to write a "new chapter" at the Mineirao stadium when they meet Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa America on Tuesday.

The last time Brazil played a semifinal at this venue was at the 2014 World Cup, when the five-time world champions suffered a cataclysmic 7-1 loss to eventual champions Germany - a result described by the local press as a national tragedy.Tite denied the existence of a "Mineirao ghost" and said the team bore no emotional scars from the defeat to Joachim Loew's team.

"If the fans can show the same type of affection that they showed when we arrived at our hotel and the stadium, we will be grateful and strengthened," Tite told a news conference here on Monday.

"We've lost here but we also beat Germany at the 2002 World Cup and we were champions. We lost in 1950 to Uruguay at the Maracana. We have our own story and this will be a new chapter. What we know is that it's going to be a great match at a place where we have had a lot of support from fans."

The last time Brazil and Argentina met in a competitive fixture was in November 2016 when the hosts won 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier.Tite said he was expecting a closer result on Wednesday against a team of "unquestionable individual and tactical" capacity.

"It's going to be a fantastic spectacle," the 58-year-old said. "There is a great rivalry but you can only be rivals with those who you admire. The rivalry owes itself to the quality of both teams."Brazil advanced to the last four by defeating Paraguay on penalties in their quarterfinal while Argentina overcome Venezuela 2-0 in their last match.

Despite having only scored once in four matches so far this tournament, Argentina captain Lionel Messi is capable of recapturing his best form at any moment, according Tite. Even so, the Selecao have no plan to stop the Barcelona forward.

"We spoke not only of the individuality of Argentina, but of their collective capabilities," Tite said ."That doesn't diminish Messi's importance. You can try to stop him but you can't neutralize his actions," he added.

Brazil will enter the match with an injury cloud hanging over left-back Filipe Luis. The Athletico Madrid defender was replaced by Alex Sandro at halftime of Brazil's clash with Paraguay because of a hamstring problem.