Congratulations to the Albirrojita who have reached the final of the 2014 Copa Mexico Naciones – the Paraguay U17s beat their Brazilian counterparts 4-3 on penalties having drawn 1-1 in normal time. On Sunday 10th August they will face another South American rival, Ecuador, in the legendary Azteca Stadium hoping to bring the trophy back to Paraguay.
This tournament is much like a “mini” World Cup and in the case of the South American sides it acts as a perfect warm up ahead of the 2015 Sudamericano to be held in Paraguay in March, the Sudamericano is a qualifier for the FIFA U17s World Cup which will take place in Chile.
ROAD TO THE FINAL
4-0 vs Mexico “2” – Echague, C.Ferreira (2), Orué
1-1 vs China – Valiente
1-2 vs USA – Valiente
4-1 vs Portugal (QF)- Valiente (2), R.Ferreira, Villalba
1-1 vs Brazil (SF) – Morel **Paraguay won 4-3 on penalties
Jonathan Valiente of Libertad has scored four goals so far and looks an exciting prospect, strong on the ball and happy to shoot from distance, definitely worth scribbling him down in your notepad.
Oscar Meza the goalkeeper made the key save against Brazil in the penalty shootout and played well in that game looking unfruffled by the verdeamarelho. When not with the national team you will find him representing Sportivo Luqueño.
Aturo Aranda is the captain, like Valiente he plays for Libertad who boast the best youth system in the country and has been the heartbeat of the side.
Good luck on Sunday!! Vamos Paraguay!!
By Ralph Hannah