Farias blames Paraguay for Copa America brawl

Venezuela coach Cesar Farias has criticised Paraguay for making fun of his team at the conclusion of last night's Copa America semi-final.

Venezuela coach Cesar Farias has criticised Paraguay for making fun of his team at the conclusion of last night's Copa America semi-final.

Paraguay beat Venezuela 5-3 on penalties before police and security staff had to intervene as players and officials of both teams brawled on the pitch.

"We didn't go out to provoke an incident," Farias said. "However, some of the players and officials from Paraguay came to the game ready to provoke us.

"And to see that kind of behaviour is frustrating. They were making fun of us. We will not accept any more to be disrespected the way we were yesterday."

The victory allowed Paraguay, who also upset Brazil on penalties earlier in the competition, to reach the final for the first time in 32 years.

Farias felt his side had been better on the night.

"We didn't lose because of our football," he said. "We had a (Oswaldo Vizcarrondo) goal disallowed. We were denied by the woodwork three times and we created more goal opportunities than they did.

"I cannot reproach my players, they gave their all."

Venezuela nevertheless made their mark on the Copa by knocking out Chile in the quarter-finals to reach the last four for the first time in their history.

"Venezuela is eliminated doing more than Paraguay," was the headline of national newspaper Ultimas Noticias.

El Universal newspaper also hailed the national team, adding: "Venezuela return with their heads held high."

The newspaper's editorial commented on the brawl, adding: "It all finished with punches because Paraguay yet again made fun of Venezuela. 'You are going home' (Paraguay midfielder Nestor) Ortigoza repeatedly said to the Venezuelan players.

"A long time ago Venezuela learned to lose, others don't know how win."

Paraguay, meanwhile, will look to prepare for Sunday's final against Uruguay in Buenos Aires.

Paraguay goalkeeper and captain Justo Villar has warned his team-mates they will need to play much better to have a chance against Uruguay.

"Against Venezuela we never found our game," he said. "When we saw that we couldn't make it, we hung on for the penalty shootout.

"But we cannot go to the final and do the same thing that we did in recent days. Going to the penalty shootout again is not an option.

"Uruguay have been playing good football and have great individual players."

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