Another away day another tw0-goal defeat, that is five World Cup Qualifiers played outside of Paraguay and all five have ended 2-0 or 3-1. Today it was the former with both goals coming from the unstoppable Radamel Falcao, the Atletico Madrid striker had few chances but twice he lined up Paulo Da Silva one-on-one and twice he finished with his left foot to send the costeño crowd into delirium.
Paraguay didn’t play badly in the first half, Pelusso was clever with his starting line-up, plenty of pace to press from the front with Nelson Haedo and José Nuñez running themselves into the ground. He identified James Rodriguez as the dangerman in midfield and double-marked him effectively with Ivan Piris supported by the defensive-minded Victor Ayala. Paraguay even had a few chances of their own as Marcelo Estigarribia and Richard Ortiz combined well on the left and they controlled posession in midfield.
The change came in the second half, Pekerman getting the better of Pelusso, he brought on Fiorentina’s Cuadrado for Ramirez and moved ‘James’ into the middle. That was the knockout blow for Paraguay as Topo Cáceres just couldn’t cope with the Porto man who was in space again and again, the pace and attacking intent of Cuadrado on the right also kept a check on Estigarribia, the Sampdoria winger the first substitution for Luis Caballero after the goal.
All in all the result was expected (just see the preview) as Colombia’s defence withstood every Paraguay attack and they relied on the creativity of Rodriguez and the finishing prowess of a rampant Falcao to do the business in Barranquilla.
What next for Paraguay? Russia 2018 unfortunately.