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COPA AMERICA: Man Utd winger Di Maria nets double as Argentina blast Paraguay

Argentina have powered their way through to the final of the 2015 Copa America with a massive win over Paraguay.

Tata Martino's Albiceleste produced a stunning 6-1 win over Paraguay who coincidentally are managed by an Argentine in Ramon Diaz.

Angel Di Maria scored twice early in the second half to help set up the triumph at the Estadio Municipal in Concepcion.

The opening goal came in the 15th minute when Lionel Messi's left-wing free-kick feel to defender Marcos Rojo who fired a low, close range shot beyond a hapless Justo Villar.

Just over 10 minutes later, the Albiceleste were two to the good when Messi played in Javier Pastore who needed no second invitation to power home from the edge of the area.

Paraguay gave themselves a chance minutes before the half-time break when Lucas Barrios struck a bouncing ball into the hands of Sergio Romero only for the powerful shot to deflect into the back of the net.

Two minutes into the second half, however, and Argentina had restored their two-goal advantage when Di Maria raced onto a lovely ball from Pastore to comfortably slot home before adding a second in the 53rd minute with a simple finish after Pastore's saved effort found its way into his path.

The Paraguay defence was all at sea at 4-1 and it got even worse for the two-time winners when Di Maria launched a dangerous cross into the area for Sergio Aguero to power past Villar with his head with 10 minutes remaining.

A sixth and final goal was mustered by Argentina when a floored Messi still managed to find Gonzalo Higuain who unleashed a rifle of a left-footed effort to emphatically finish in the 83rd minute.

Argentina will now look to clinch their 15th Copa America title, which would bring them level with record holders Uruguay, as hosts Chile strive for the very first South American cup in just their fifth final.

Paraguay will be intent on atoning for their embarrassment when they meet Peru in the third-place playoff in Concepcion on Friday.

2015 Copa America – semi-final

Argentina: 6 (Marcos Rojo 15', Javier Pastore 27', Angel Di Maria 47'/53', Sergio Aguero 80', Gonzalo Higuain 83')
Paraguay: 1 (Lucas Barrios 43')

Estadio Municipal de Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile – 30,000

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Andrew Slevison
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