Paraguay Abroad: Top 3 goals from Tacuara, Bogado and Pajaro Benítez

In homage to our boy’s abroad who have been fighting on two fronts (Europe and South America) this week in continental battle, here are the best three goals from Paraguayan players.

3. Rolando Bogado (Real Garcilaso) vs. Santa Fe, Copa Libertadores, Wednesday 13th February

Move over Cristiano Ronaldo, if you thought the Real Madrid man’s header was a good one later that evening we had this spectacular piece of work from ex-Luqueño defender Rolando Bogado. Moving away from the ball at the corner and drifting behind the penalty spot he still managed to connect with the floated corner and power it into the top corner, like CR7 and important equaliser for his team at home.

2. Oscar Cardozo (Benfica) vs. Bayer Leverkusen, Europa League, Thursday 14th February

A vital away goal for the Portuguese giants as they hit Leverkusen on the break from a corner, as Tacuara received the pass he may have been tempted to shoot but instead feinted past the defender and showed even more composure with a delicate chipped finish.

3. Edgar Benítez (Toluca) vs. Boca Juniors, Copa Libertadores, Wednesday 13th February

How many teams go to La Bombonera and beat Boca…while managed by Bianchi?! Toluca join that exclusive list thanks to this wonderful winner from Edgar Benítez. Timed his run well to receive a beautiful pass from Sinha and with the covering defender closing him down he opted to shoot first time rather than take a touch…by shoot I mean execute a delightful chip/scoop over Boca’s goalkeeper who had strayed too far from his line.

By Ralph Hannah

Paraguay Abroad: Haedo and Cardozo make their mark in Iberia, Adorno hattrick for APOEL

There were a bunch of goals in South America this weekend including a Paraguay Abroad promotion in Chile; more on all that below as we kick off with the goals in Europe most notably Oscar Cardozo and Nelson Haedo in Portugal and Spain.


Nelson Haedo (Valencia) came on in the dying embers of the game against Atletico Madrid but still found time to score, making a good diagonal run to pick up Feghouli’s through ball and finish.

Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga) was also a substitute, coming on at halftime but his team lost at home 2-1 to Rayo Vallecano.


Oscar Cardozo found the net twice for Benfica in a 3-0 win, their fourth consecutive league victory. He scored once with a header and the other was a penalty.

Defenders Lorenzo Melagerjo (Benfica) and Javier Cohene (Paços de Ferreira) didn’t play at the weekend.


Ivan Piris overcame Edgar Barreto in the all-Paraguayan contest in Serie A on Sunday, the right back’s Roma side won out 4-1 in the capital as the Sicilians struggle continues. Palermo are now five games without a win.

Marcelo Estigarribia (Sampdoria) knows how his compatriot Barreto is feeling, a home defeat to Atalanta marked their fourth straight loss in the Calcio.


Aldo Adorno (APOEL) scored his second hattrick of the season as Ayia Napa were thrashed 4-1.


It was a bad day at the office for Luis Caballero and Pablo Zeballos as Krylya Sovetov were thumped 5-0 by Spartak Moscow. Happier times for Cristian Riveros (Kayserispor) who celebrated a much-needed 3-0 win. Dario Lezcano was involved for the full game as Luzern battled back to get a draw in the basement clash with Servette. Jorge Salinas got a short run out for Legia Warsaw as they won 2-1 away in Gdansk.



Former Olimpia striker Cristian Bogado scored twice for Deportes Iquique but it wasn’t enough to save them from defeat, they went down 4-2 at home to Unión Española. It was the same story for the Misionense defender David Portillo (Antofagasta) who netted an equaliser only for his team to lose 2-1 to Colo Colo, the latter now top of the table.

However, Adam Brandon reports of happier news from Arica where Jose Pedrozo was crowned Primera B title with San Marcos de Arica. Adam says “the defender played a major part in the second half of the year and helped Arica finally win promotion after 27 years!” Let’s hope Pedrozo remains calm, the last time he was in the Primera (with Rangers) he managed to pick up a 27-game suspension for assaulting a referee!


Marcos Lazaga (Patriotas) is doing well this year, he nodded home in the first minute against Boyacá Chico for his 14th goal of 2012.

Deportes Tolima with Antony Silva in goal and Robin Ramirez coming off the bench managed to win 2-1 to keep their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive.


Left back Aureliano Torres (Peñarol) scored what proved to be the winner racing onto a cross to score the second in a 2-1 win over Defensor Sporting. That victory extends the Carbonero’s winning streak to five games and keeps them top of the table.


The final game for the Peruvian title is already decided with Real Atletico Garcilaso and Sporitng Cristal with unassailable leads in their respective groups. Garcilaso count on the services of Fabio ‘Pitu’ Ramos who has formed a good partnership with Andy Pando this season. Former Luque player Daniel Ferreira is also on their books but hasn’t been in the side since July.

In Mexico Osvaldo Martinez was sent off for Atlante in the final minutes of their encounter with León, they lost 3-2.  The win sees León close in on leaders Tijuana who have drawn four games on the bounce, their star defender has been Pablo Aguilar.

Claudio Morel (Independiente) was injured early on as his side lost to Victor Ayala’s Lanús, the latter are climbing up the table but it is Newell’s Old Boys who lead, managed by ex-Paraguay manager Tata Martino and with full back Marcos Cáceres in their ranks.

Paraguay Abroad: Nelson Haedo and Pablo Aguilar the head-liners

The main talking point was of course Nelson Haedo’s superb header to complete an amazing turnaround for Valencia against Athletic Bilbao. Tijuana’s Pablo Aguilar also followed up from his Paraguay heroics to net his fifth goal for the club since joining in July, not bad returns for a central defender. Read on for a full round-up of the weekend’s action.


Valencia were 2-1 down after an hour when Nelson Haedo entered the field, his diverted shot led to the equaliser, eventually turned in by Alberto Costa before winning the game with an incredible header.

Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga) also played the final thirty minutes, in a 2-1 win over Valladolid.


It was the Portuguese Cup this weekend, Benfica actually played on Thursday night and Oscar Cardozo scored the second in a 4-0 rout. Javier Cohene (Paços de Ferreira) is also into the next round as his side overcame Estoril 2-1 on Sunday.


Roma came from behind to win away to Genoa, Ivan Piris was in the starting line up and set up the first and second goals of the comeback. Marcelo Estigarribia (Sampdoria) played all 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Parma. Another starter was midfielder Edgar Barreto (Palermo) in a goalless draw against Torino.


Celso Ortiz (AZ) got his first competitive minutes in over six months as he completed his return from injury. Eric Ramos (Neftçi) enjoyed a 4-1 win as his side prepare for their Europa League tie against Rubin Kazan. APOEL, Krylya, Kayserispor and Legia Warsaw all play today.



Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana) scored another header as Xolos drew 2-2 with Cruz Azul.

That result allowed Toluca to move top with a 4-1 victory, no thanks to Edgar Benítez however who was shown the red card after 30 minutes. It was a bad day at the office for Dario Verón (Pumas) subbed off in 5-0 thrashing, Herminio Miranda (Puebla) was also on the losing side, 2-0 away to Jaguares. The bright note was Osvaldito Martinez and his Atlante team that won 3-1 against Chivas.


In the clásico, Pablo Escobar scored his 100th goal in Bolivian football and his 10th in clásicos to earn The Strongest a win over their arch rivals Bolívar, 3-2 in the Hernando Siles. Delio Ojeda was also on the winning side.


Claudio Morel (Independiente) has now gone four games without a booking, interestingly coincides with his team’s four game winning run. Not such good news for defender Ricardo Mazacotte as Unión Santa Fe slipped to their third straight loss and are still without a win this season. A third straight cleansheet for Newell’s and defender Marcos Cáceres keeps them top of the table, Justo Villar (Estudiantes) also kept a cleansheet in goal in the Bombonera. Victor Ayala’s driven freekick was turned in by Paolo Goltz as Lanús continue their good form and became the first side to beat Rafaela at home since March.


In Uruguay Aureliano Torres (Peñarol) came on as a sub as the Carbonero destroyed El Tanque Sisley 4-0 to remain in the title chase. In Chile Cristian Bogado’s Deportes Iquique won 2-1 to keep up their fight as they try and catch Pedro Vera’s Rangers who are top by two points. Edgar Balbuena scored the winning goal for Independiente in Ecuador from the penalty spot, only their 2nd victory in 13 games. Fernando Gimenez was also on target for Emelec in a 1-1 draw, the midfielder’s first goal since May.

Paraguay Abroad: Luis Caballero scores and Cáceres puts Newell’s top

A rare goal from right-back Marcos Cáceres proved to be the winner as Newell’s went top of the table in Argentina under former Paraguay coach Tata Martino. Elsewhere both Oscar Cardozo and Claudio Correa scored for the two Benfica sides (senior and B) while Luis Caballero found the net for Krylya.


Oscar Cardozo and Lorenzo Melgarejo both started for Benfica with the former scoring a trademark penalty having missed a sitter earlier on in the game. Also Carlos Correa scored for the B team, an emphatic finish for his 2nd in 3 games.


Pablo Zeballos started behind Luis Caballero (both Krylya Sovetov) in their 2-2 draw with Zenit St Petersburg, Caballero got his team’s second which at the time put them 2-0 up. Caballero now has three goals for the club from Samara.


There was another goal for Aldo Adorno in Cyprus, netting APOEL’s third in a comfortable win while in Poland Jorge Salinas is said to have played well in Legia Warsaw’s 1-1 draw with Polonia Warsaw. Marcelo Estigarribia (Sampdoria) and Nelson Haedo (Valencia) both started their league games while Roque Santacruz (Malaga) came on off the bench.


A Marcos Cáceres goal handed Newell’s a 2-0 lead and proved to be the winner as they beat Colón 2-1 away to go top of the table and have stayed there following Boca’s defeat to Lanús with Victor Ayala starting for the winners.

The other starters this week were Federico Santander (Tigre), Eduardo Ledesma (Godoy Cruz) and Ricardo Mazacotte (Unión de Santa Fe) none of whom were involved in a win.


Macará remain top of the league, albeit with two games in hand over their nearest rivals, with Domingo Martinez one of their key players. At the weekend however they lost to LDU Quito with Eduardo Echeverría started for the victors. Fernando Gimenez (Emelec) started for his side in their win as did Aldo Vera (LDU Loja).


Pablo Aguilar (Xolos) is now sharing his seat at the top of the table with Edgar Benítez (Toluca) following the latter’s win against Atlante where Osvaldo Martinez plays. Dario Verón (Pumas) and Herminio Miranda (Puebla) both played the full 90 minutes in draws while Paulo Da Silva (Pachuca) was subbed off in a defeat.


It was almost a perfect afternoon for Roberto Ovelar (Uni. Católica) who scored two and set up another, however his side ended up losing a thrilling game 4-3 to Cobreloa. Cristian Bogado (Dep. Iquique) and Miguel Angel Cuellar (Cobresal) also got on the scoresheet. In Colombia there were no goals for Robin Ramirez (Dep. Tolima) who started alongside Antony Silva in a 0-0 draw with Huila.

By Ralph Hannah

Paraguay Abroad: Raining goals in Portugal while Adorno nets three in Cyprus

It has been a profitable week in Europe with seven goals being scored across the continent including a double for Oscar Cardozo who is likely to play against Argentina on Friday. As ever we have the info from South America where Robin Ramirez has been back in the goals.



Oscar Cardozo netted twice in Benfica’s comfortable win over Nacional, the first a trademark header and the second a driven finish to round off the victory. He has enjoyed playing against the team from Madeira, racking up five goals in their last four meetings. Lorenzo Melgarejo also played in the game.

There was also a goal for defender Javier Cohene (Paços de Ferreira) who opened the scoring in a 2-0 win against Braga.

Finally, dropping down to the second division and Claudio ‘El Ogro’ Correa was on the scoresheet for the Benfica B team, you can see his goal here.


Ivan Piris (Roma) was involved in an excellent 3-1 away win against Inter  Milan, the full back played the full game. Marcelo Estigarribia (Sampdoria) also celebrated a victory at home to Siena, he played all 90 minutes.


Roque Santa Cruz wasn’t cleared to play for his new club Málaga, while Nelson Haedo Valdez (Valencia) came on for the last few minutes in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Nou Camp.


Aldo Adorno (APOEL) hit an incredible hattrick on Monday afternoon, you can see it here.



Robin Ramirez was back in the goals for Tolima with the winner against Cartagena at the weekend, Antony Silva also played in that match.

Marcos Lazaga (Patriotas) was on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller against Junior Barranquilla.


Víctor Cáceres (Flamengo) played all 90 minutes against Internacional, they lost 4-1.


Víctor Ayala (Lanús) and Justo Villar (Estudiantes) were beaten 1-0 away from home, Víctor Aquino (Belgrano) was a sub in a 2-1 defeat while Federico Santander (Tigre) also came off the bench in a draw with San Lorenzo.


Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana) continues to enjoy life in the North, his team won 2-0 and are second in the league behind Edgar Benitez’s Toluca who drew 1-1. Dario Verón (Pumas) celebrated a rare win (first in 4 games) and fellow defender Paulo da Silva (Pachuca) was denied the same result by a last-minute equaliser. Herminio Miranda (Puebla) was also involved in a 1-1 draw while Osvaldo Martinez (Atlante) was on the winning team for the second consecutive game.


Plenty of players in action but the headline makers from each country are Miguel Angel Cuellar (Cobresal) who scored a penalty and Fabio Ramos (Real Atletico Garcilaso) who grabbed a goal in a 3-2 defeat 

By Ralph Hannah

Author’s Note: Thanks to Vasilis for the APOEL highlights

International Friendly: Fabbro marks the difference for Paraguay

Guatemala vs Paraguay
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
(2-1) 3-3 – Pappa (pen), León, Ruiz (pen); Cardozo, Fabbro, Perez

Oscar Cardozo scored after 55 seconds – Photo:

Unfortunatley this game wasn’t televised in Paraguay or Guatemala or anywhere in the world so I had to resort to listening to it on the radio. However there is no doubt that the key player for Paraguay was second half substitute Jonathan Fabbro, the Argentine native making his international debut in Gerardo Pelusso’s first game in charge. The number 17 scored a delightful freekick and used his strength and vision to set up the third.

Paraguay were denied a win by a late penalty from ‘Pescadito’ Ruiz (any jokes about diving little fishes are not for this blog) and it was the first time they had scored three and failed to win since the Copa America game with Venezuela last year. Pelusso definitely has plenty to think about before next month’s game away to Argentina in the World Cup Qualifiers, if they concede three to Guatemala just how will they stop a rampant Lionel Messi? Up front he needs to decide if Fabbro is the man for the job, if so the team should be built around him as he proved last night just how destructive he can be.

Paraguay XI: Justo Villar; Dario Verón, Paulo Da Silva, Antolin Alcaraz, Richard Ortiz; Hernan Perez, Víctor Cáceres, Cristian Riveros, Marcelo Estigarribia; Edgar Benítez, Oscar Cardozo

Subs: Jonathan Fabbro for Edgar Benítez, Julio Dos Santos for Cristian Riveros, Carlos Bonet for Dario Verón, Miguel Samudio for Richard Ortiz, Roque Santa Cruz for Oscar Cardozo, Osvaldo Martinez for Hernan Perez

By Ralph Hannah

International Friendly: Guatemala vs Paraguay preview

Guatemala vs Paraguay
Robert F.Kennedy Memorial Stadium
15/08/2012, 18.15 hs (23.15 hs BST)

For the third time this year Paraguay and Guatemala go head-to-head in an international friendly, the first game in Luque was won 2-1 by the albirroja with the ‘2nd leg’ in the Guatemala City also a victory for the South Americans. Now they meet on neutral ground, in Washington DC, in a game that represents Gerardo Pelusso’s first chance to look at his players.

The first game in Luque finished 2-1 to Paraguay

At Olimpia the Uruguayan coach usually lined his team up in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 formation but with the national team recently there has been a problem scoring goals, Martino managed an average of 1.1 goals per game and while Chiqui Arce increased that return to 1.4 in his 12 official games it was heavily reliant on goals from set pieces and penalties. With that in mind Pelusso has looked to the recently-nationalized Jonathan Fabbro who will make his international debut aged 30. While some readers may be more aware of his girlfriend (strongly advise male readers to click this link)  the Argentinian native who has taken Paraguayan nationality having lived here for five years is a class act. He isn’t a traditional South American playmaker, he’s too tall (1.88 metres) and strong and has more defensive ability than a typical ’10’, but he can’t be considered a striker either as he rarely finds himself in the penalty area. Undoubtedly his great strengths are shots from distance and vicious free kicks but he needs to get the best out the striker he plays with, most likely to be Oscar Cardozo with Lucas Barrios (injury) and Nelson Haedo (given leave to sign for Valencia) unavailable.

In the previous two meetings with Guatemala it is clear that Paraguayan coach Ever Almeida are well organised and comfortable in possession but lack any killer punch. The conduit is Marco Pappa in midfield who plays in the United States and scored a late equaliser against USMNT in their previous competitive game. La Albirroja have successfully neutralised his threat the past two games and it is likely they’ll be able to do so again and win this game to nil.

Pelusso points the way in training – Photo: Prensa Selección Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol

PREDICTION: Paraguay are too good on paper and will want to impress their new coach, 0-2

SELECTED ODDS: Guatemala win 7.4, Draw 5.2, Paraguay win 1.39, Under 2.5 goals 2.08, 0-2 scoreline 6.8

BEST BET: Not much value in the win, one possibility is ‘Paraguay win to nil’ or maybe spread the final score market with 0-1, 0-2 and 0-3 all possibilities

Paraguay XI probable (4-2-3-1)

Justo Villar; Dario Verón, Antolin Alcaraz, Paulo Da Silva, Richard Ortiz; Víctor Cáceres, Cristian Riveros; Hernan Perez, Jonathan Fabbro, Marcelo Estigarribia; Oscar Cardozo



Paraguay record vs Guatemala: Pld 8 W 7 D 1 L 0 GF 17 GA 6

Paraguay in the United States (since 2005): Pld 5 W 1 D 0 L 4 GF 5 GA 11  – their only win came against the USA

Time of first Paraguay goal in last five games: 82, 6, 88, 34, 44

Paraguay have kept NINE cleansheets in their previous ELEVEN friendlies


Full Squad list

GK: Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño), Antony Silva (Tolima), Justo Villar (Estudiantes)

DEF: Paulo Da Silva (Pachuca), Darío Verón (Pumas), Antolín Alcaraz (Wigan Athletic), Pedro Benítez (Cerro Porteño), Carlos Bonet (Cerro Porteño), Miguel Samudio (Libertad), Richard Ortiz (Olimpia)

MID: Víctor Cáceres (Flamengo), Hernán Pérez (Villarreal), Cristian Riveros (Kayserispor), Marcelo Estigarribia (Sampdoria), Osvaldo Martínez  (Atlante), Julio Dos Santos (Cerro Porteño), Marcos Riveros (Nacional), Jonathan Fabbro (Cerro Porteño)

ATT: Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City), Óscar Cardozo (Benfica), Edgar Benítez (Toluca)

** Nelson Haedo (Valencia) and Lucas Barrios (Guangzhou Evergrande) were called up but subsequently pulled out

By Ralph Hannah

Authors Note: All odds correct at time of writing via Betfair