Man City striker Roque Santa Cruz plays in Copa America for Paraguay - Manchester City FC

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Roque Santa Cruz
Season 2011/12

City's Copa America: Rocky on a mission

  • 28 June 2011 15:39
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Roque Santa Cruz will be aiming to put a disappointing domestic season behind him as Paraguay bid to build on their World Cup exploits in the Copa America.

Paraguay, who have not won the prestigious tournament since 1979, are in a group with Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador, with the hosts, Carlos Tevez's Argentina, favourites for the Copa title.

But Santa Cruz and his team-mates believe they should have reached the World Cup semi-finals by beating Spain - who went on to win the trophy - and are out to make their mark in Argentina.

Rocky's loan spell back at his former club Blackburn failed to produce a goal as he battled a combination of bad luck and injury to try and recapture his old Ewood Park form.

But he was on target earlier this month in a warm-up match against Romania, heading the second goal of a 2-0 victory after 29 minmutes before making way for Pablo Zeballos in the second half.

His touch was not quite so lethal in the final warm-up against Chile last week, steering his best chance just over the bar in the first half of a goalless draw in Asuncion.

Santa Cruz is not expected to return to Blackburn next month and will have good reason to open his account in Paraguay's first Group B match against Felipe Caicedo's Ecuador in Santa Fe on Sunday.

Twelve teams will compete for the glittering prize, which starts on Friday, with Brazil - winners of the last two tournaments - aiming for a hat-trick at great rivals Argentina's expense.

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