Santiago: Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez says his players are prepared with the right mindset for the Copa America quarter-final match against hosts Chile.
A third-placed finish in Group B for Uruguay has set up a meeting with hosts Chile at the Estadio Nacional on Wednesady night in the quarter-finals.
The defending champions are bidding to win the title for a record 16th time, and Tabarez has insisted that his charges are ready to treat the match against the home team as a final.
“The match is special for the players I manage,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“It’s a final, my players say, and in these matches they’ve trained with the right attitude.”
The Uruguay boss has the utmost respect for Wednesday’s rival, praising one the players making the most headlines during the tournament in Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal.
“Vidal is one of the best players I’ve seen in the air,” Tabarez said.
Uruguay will likely go into the meeting in Santiago as underdogs because of the prowess of Vidal and the rest of the Chile team, but midfielder Alvaro “Tata” Gonzalez believes team unity will help the team in the contest.
“When these type of matches come up, every one of us chooses to play with the 10 team-mates we have by our side,” he said.
“I know my team-mates, who I have on my side, are going to leave it all on the field like I am.”
The winners of the meeting will face either Bolivia or Peru in a semi-final at the same stadium.