Paraguay vs Peru
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
(0-0) 1-0 – Pablo Aguilar
I didn’t watch the game so am working on third-party information and the brief highlights I’ve seen, but effectively this was the Paraguay everybody wanted. Now that the fans have accepted this side is not capable of outplaying teams they just need to out-garra them, especially at home. The result represented Gerardo Pelusso’s first win as Paraguay manager and ended a run of five straight qualifying defeats. The winning goal came from the head of Pablo Aguilar, the former Luque defender has been dangerous from set pieces with his club side, Tijuana, and carried that threat into the national team.
The famous phrase is ‘Centro, Cabeza, Gol’ (Cross, header, goal) but in this case it was more ‘Cross, header, RELIEF’ as Paraguay broke the deadlock and then held firm. A gritty, determined win that, thanks to the other results last night, has kept Paraguayan qualifying hopes alive. With Uruguay and Chile both in Baumgartner-style freefall the picture could be much rosier come June 2013.
Paraguay XI: Diego Barreto; Iván Piris, Paulo Da Silva, Pablo Aguilar, Miguel Samudio; Fidencio Oviedo, Julio Dos Santos, Cristian Riveros, Édgar Benítez; Nelson Haedo, José Ariel Núñez
Subs: Luis Caballero for Nelson Haedo, Víctor Cáceres for José Ariel Nuñez, Jonathan Fabbro for Edgar Benítez
By Ralph Hannah