Pinto pointing Colombia to final in Copa America

Jun 24, 2007 - 4:26 PM BARRANQUILLA, Colombia (Ticker) - Colombia coach Jorge Luis Pinto believes his team has what it takes to reach the final of the Copa America.

The Cafeteros claimed a convincing 3-1 friendly victory over Ecuador on Saturday, and Pinto believes Colombia can maintain that form throughout the continental tournament that gets under way on Tuesday in Venezuela.

The 2001 champions play their opening Group C match against Paraguay on Thursday, and also meet Argentina and the United States in the opening phase.

"We will compete in one of the two most important championships for Colombia, so if we are there it is because we want to be in the final - we don't want to be third or fourth," Pinto said. "If destiny or performance take us to one of those positions (third or fourth), we'll understand, but our conviction is to go towards the final."

Pinto also revealed that he is unfazed by what on paper appears to be a tricky draw for the group stage.

"Paraguay are a team of debutants with different characteristics compared to their past teams," he said. "The United States are rebuilding, they don't have their most important figures and almost all of them are new.

"Argentina, meanwhile, take a mixed team, but it doesn't mean anything because they are all compete at a great level internationally."






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