Paraguay conceded their first ever goals to Venezuela in a World Cup Qualifier at home as they crashed to a 2-0 reverse that puts them bottom of the qualifying group. It was another historic moment involving this Paraguay side having also lost to Argentina away for the first time since 1973 and failed to beat Uruguay for the first time at home back in October 2011.
World Cup Qualification looks a fairly distant prospect now with Paraguay 8 points behind Chile in 5th place and have to play Pekerman’s all-conquering Colombia away in the next round of games. They have also been leaking goals under new coach Gerardo Pelusso, it is now 8 in three games particularly worrying when you consider that Guatemala and Venezuela are hardly world-beaters.
I didn’t see the game itself (I was at Honduras vs Cuba) but the gamble by Gerardo Pelusso to change five players from the Argentina match and line up with a back three obviously didn’t work. Salomon Rondón scored both goals, the second coming after a comic (or tragic for Paraguay supporters) error by Justo Villar.
While there are plenty of people lamenting this situation and looking for people to blame the reality is that Paraguay can’t expect to qualify for five straight World Cups, they’ve been outdoing themselves for so long now and eventually something had to give. It is just such a shame it happens to be the South American World Cup that they are set to miss out on.
By Ralph Hannah