Paraguay showed that they have class and consistency when they defeated Brazil in the quarter finals of Copa America – again. Like the last edition in 2011, this edition also saw both the teams pass 90 minutes with equal score line – 1-1 this year unlike a goalless draw in 2011.
However, Ramon Diaz’s side executed a great penalty shootout – as against Brazil who missed all four of their attempts. This year wasn’t any different as the five time world champions missed two shots against Paraguay’s one and blew up their chance to win a 10th Copa America title – again.
Paraguay has been showing willpower, stamina and hunger to avenge 2011’s loss since the beginning of the tournament. They defeated Uruguay 1-0; thereby taking a mini-revenge for losing to them in 2011 finals, held Argentina to a 2-2 draw and then triumphed over Brazil in the hair-splitting semi-finals.
Robinho scored for Brazil in the early minutes of the match after Liverpool’s latest signing – Roberto Firmino amazingly back heeled the ball to the veteran. At that time, although Paraguay was defending pretty impressive no one could expect them to turn the match around. However, the 72nd minute penalty kick taken by Derlis Gonzalez equalized things for 2011’s runners-up.
Brazil’s exit from Copa America marked the second time Argentina and Brazil missed a chance to face each other in a major tournament – Germany’s 7-0 win over Brazil took away the first possibility. And now Paraguay pulled off a Germany and showed Brazil-Argentina semi-final the exit door.
Although they somehow managed to squeeze out a win from Cop America’s first-time participant, Jamaica (1-0), they showed they have what it got take after their predominant performance against Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Their defensive side is amazing, which was proved in the match against Argentina in group stages and against Brazil in the quarter finals.
Photo Credit: AFP
Argentina who is in diminishing form with Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero leading the attacking list, has shockingly scored just four goals in the whole tournament until now. And this is undoubtedly the greatest concern for Javier Pastore’s side because Paraguay has proved how good they are in the penalties.
Messi and his team will certainly hope to seal the deal within 90 minutes.
Paraguay will also boast their goalkeeper Claudio Bravo who is Messi’s compatriot in Barcelona. This can well count as an advantage to them because Bravo knows Messi’s game and will be quick to judge his moves.
The match promises to be nail-biting and an exhibition of high-class football, but after last year’s painful World Cup loss to Germany, Argentina will definitely up their game and win the match.
Predicted Score line: 2-0.