Chile vs Paraguay
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
(2-1) 3-2 – Rojas, Maturana, Contrera; Gonzalez, Alborno
It was five-goal tragedy for Paraguay in the end, in a pulsating match that had everything (except tactical awareness). Paraguay took the lead early on after good pressing from Montenegro and Dominguez, strength and awareness from Jorge Rojas and clever positioning from Derlis Gonzalez who as ever was on hand to turn the ball in.
Chile turned the game round before halftime with two goals – firstly their Rojas was given just a little bit too much sapce from Ivan Ramirez (who looked fatigued after a wonderful display against Argentina) and he jinked past captain Gustavo Gómez to fire in a good shot under the goalkeeper. The second goal was a result of several forays down Paraguay’s left hand side that was unguarded with Balbuena often pressing without the help of Montenegro and Matías Perez at centreback unable to sweep round.
We’ve seen plenty of spirit from this group of players and they showed it once again in the second half. As they continued to attack the game became incredibly stretched with almost no midfield to speak of. This helped Paraguay in the early part of the half, fresh legs and the pace of Derlis Gonzalez brought about the equaliser, a long ball bypassing everybody and finding Derlis Gonzalez one-on-one with his marker, he had enough vision and skill to slip in his ‘European’ teammate and substitute Rodrigo Alborno who finished expertly.
With the game so vertical there was always the feeling somebody would grab a winner – in the end it was Chile and unfortunately for Paraguay it was a defensive error with Juan Villamayor misplacing a simple pass in his own half. The Chileans put together a neat move which and Contreras showed a cool head to slip the ball past Morel in goal. The result means Paraguay must win against Bolivia in their final game tomorrow (Thursday 17th) to progress to the Hexagonal Final.
Paraguay XI: Diego Morel; Teodoro Paredes, Gustavo Gómez, Matías Perez; Jorge Rojas, Ivan Ramirez, Miguel Almirón, Manuel Balbuena; Derlis Gonzalez, Cecilio Dominguez, Bryan Montenegro
Subs: Rodrigo Alborno for Cecilio Dominguez, Angel Lucena for Ivan Ramirez, Juan Villamayor for Derlis Gonzalez