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Argentina thrash Paraguay 6-1 to reach Copa America final

Argentina have demolished their rivals Paraguay in the Copa America semifinal 6-1, with the side's diminutive captain setting up four of the goals but failing to net himself. Argentina go on to play Chile in the final.

Fußball: Amerika-Cup, Argentinien - Paraguay

Sergio Aguero headed in to score Argentina's penultimate goal in the drubbing of their neighbor

Argentina's Angel di Maria bagged two of the goals on Tuesday evening, scoring twice in six minutes, as the World Cup runners-up swept aside Paraguay.

But it was Argentine talisman Lionel Messi who set his side on the path to victory teeing up two first-half goals.

Marcos Rojo netted in the 15th minute with a close-range shot from a ball floated over by Messi. The second came when Javier Pastore - having been released down the left by Messi -s cored from outside the box in the 27th minute.

Paraguay pulled one back just before the break, with Argentine-born striker Lucas Barrios making it 2-1 with a powerful left-foot shot.

It was in the second half that Argentina's superiority was made clear, with Di Maria instrumental in snuffing out any hopes of a Paraguayan comeback. The Manchester United star scored twice in six minutes, his first - a low slide into goal - aided by Pastore and his second a rebound from a Messi-inspired attack.

Sergio Aguero headed in from Di Maria's cross on 80 minutes, and after another probing run from Messi put Gonzalo Higuain on the scoresheet three minutes later.

Hosts Chile - who

beat Peru 2-1 in the other semifinal

, on Monday - will seek to win their first Copa America on Saturday. Meanwhile, Argentina will be eager to end a 22-year title drought and give Messi his first national team triumph.

rc/jr (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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