That concludes our commentary of the Copa America fixture between Argentina and Paraguay! We hope you enjoyed it!
Argentina are in action again in a week’s time, when they face Bolivia. Paraguay will look for a second win on Thursday when they take on Chile.
Despite a second half in which they looked second-best, Argentina again manage a 1-0 victory which sees them through to the next stage of the tournament. Alejandro Gomez’s 10th-minute strike was all that separated the sides after Paraguay were unable to put enough pressure on Emiliano Martinez’s goal – managing just two shots on target in the 90 minutes. The Albiceleste found it difficult to keep possession after going ahead, but weathered the storm thanks to great performances by Molina and Cristian Romero in defence, whose industry and ability to block crosses stifled Paraguay’s attack all evening. The win puts Argentina top of the group, while Paraguay sit third.
90′ + 4′ FULL-TIME: ARGENTINA 1-0 PARAGUAY.
90′ + 3′ Argentina look to play keep-away as they seek to run out the clock. De Paul is fouled on the right wing cynically, which further assists them in their pursuit.
90′ + 1′ The fourth official indicates four minutes will be added for stoppages.
89′ Almiron sprints through three Argentina defenders on his way to the left-hand side of the penalty area, but his left-footed cross is put far too close to Emiliano Martinez, who is able to gather the delivery comfortably.
87′ Angel Romero also makes way with three minutes remaining, as Carlos Gonzalez is brought on.
87′ Avalos is taken off as Samudio is given a chance to make an impact.
86′ Joaquin Correa bursts into the penalty area and squares a pass across the face of goal for Messi, but a lunging Arzamendia puts it behind for a corner.
84′ Argentina are the team with the most fouls won at this Copa America (58).
R. Piris Da Motta
82′ Berizzo looks to shuffle his deck as Piris is replaced by Sanchez.
81′ Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa is the other man sent on, with Di Maria withdrawn.
81′ Argentina make a couple of changes with nine minutes remaining. The first switch sees the booked Paredes replaced by Dominguez.
80′ With 10 minutes to go, Argentina are looking for their second 1-0 win in a row, which would be the first time they’ve strung together back to back clean sheets since May and October 2019, when they drew 0-0 with Chile before beating Mexico 4-0 in friendlies.
Á. Cardozo Lucena
78′ Lucena is booked for a crunching tackle on Messi right in front of the technical area.
78′ Angel Romero steps up and looks to curl an effort to the far post, but he’s unable to beat the wall as Emiliano Martinez’s organisation thwarts the Paraguay winger.
76′ Avalos looks to receive Almiron’s pass and turn his man at the edge of the 18-yard box, but Cristian Romero is forced to bring the striker down, giving Paraguay a free-kick in a dangerous position.
74′ Some lovely play as Paraguay switch it from left to right and back again, freeing Almiron up on the flank. He looks to play a low cross into the penalty area but again it’s blocked by the well-placed Molina.
72′ A change in personnel for Argentina sees Alejandro Gomez replaced by De Paul.
70′ Gustavo Gomez allows Argentina to escape unscathed after elbowing Cristian Romero during an aerial duel right outside Emiliano Martinez’s six-yard box.
68′ Paraguay are once again able to move 10 players into Argentina’s half as they look to control the tempo of the match in search of their opener. Even when Scaloni’s side are able to win back possession, they are unable to hold it for long as there are no outlets higher up the pitch.
66′ Berizzo opts to make two changes at one time, as Oscar Romero is brought on for Kaku.
66′ Paraguay’s first change of the match sees Lucena replace Cubas in the centre of midfield.
63′ Argentina’s second-half performance hasn’t been entirely convincing, as Paraguay are once again dominating possession. Berizzo’s side have also managed couple of shots on target after the restart, which they were unable to do in the first. With the Albiceleste forced to sit deeper and deeper, they’ll know they’ll need a second goal on the counter-attack before the result is safe.
61′ Kaku whips a free-kick into the penalty area from the left-hand side, after Almiron was brought down by a Rodriguez challenge. The effort – looking to catch the goalkeeper off-guard at the far top corner is caught by a confident Emiliano Martinez.
59′ The stop in play allows Argentina to make a change, as Aguero is recalled to the bench. Lazio’s Joaquin Correa is his replacement.
59′ Argentina are finally able to retake possession, after a foul is called on Espinola for obstructing the path of Emiliano Martinez. The Albiceleste have a free-kick with which to clear their lines.
57′ Paraguay’s corner is rebuffed after a short routine between Kaku and Almiron and put behind for a retake. The second attempt from Kaku is also cleared – this time by Cristian Romero, giving the Albirroja a third try in quick succession.
55′ Gustavo Gomez clips a pass forward for Almiron, whose cross is blocked at the source by Molina – giving Paraguay their fifth corner of the match.
53′ The record between both teams in their latest six meetings in all competitions is tied, with one win each and four draws. The past two matches finished as 1-1 draws.
51′ Paredes rolls the ball to Messi, who cuts inside and looks to chip the ball to the far post, which is repelled by a leaping Gustavo Gomez.
49′ Di Maria is tripped up by Cubas on the right flank five yards outside of the penalty area. Both Messi and Paredes stand over it, with the angle favouring a left foot.
48′ Almiron plays Arzamendia into the penalty area, but the left-back’s shot is blocked and put behind for a corner.
46′ Paraguay get the match restarted from the kick-off!
Berizzo’s side must do more to bring their wide attackers into play, with both Kaku and Almiron combining for just one shot – which failed to hit the target. They must exploit Argentina’s tiring legs if they wish to pull a goal back, though with the lead the Albiceleste will no doubt sit deeper and deeper as the half wears on. Keeping the squad fresh will be Scaloni’s main focus, with the aging legs of Aguero, Di Maria and Alejandro Gomez very unlikely to go a full 90 minutes.
Despite six changes to the starting XI, Argentina have looked confident in the first half of their clash with Paraguay, leading 1-0 at the break thanks to Alejandro Gomez’s delightful chip at the 10th minute. Paraguay have been unable to use their pace to attack the flanks, with the Albiceleste doing a good job of cutting passing lanes and protecting their penalty area. Messi hasn’t been too involved in the build-up play, but the clever passing of Di Maria has – on more than one occasion – opened up the Paraguay defence.
45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: ARGENTINA 1-0 PARAGUAY.
45′ + 1′ ARGENTINA SCORE BUT IT’S OFFSIDE! Di Maria’s initial shot is parried well by Silva, but he’s unable to get it out of harm’s way as it’s recollected by Argentina. Paredes feeds it to Alejandro Gomez on the left and his low cross is bundled into the net by Alonso, but an offside in the build-up means the match stays 1-0!
44′ The fourth official indicates one minute will be added onto the end of the first half for stoppages.
42′ A free-kick in midfield is played short from Messi to Di Maria, who immediately looks up and fires a cross into the penalty area from the right. Pezzella gets to it first and puts a header on-target, but Silva stoops low to make the save.
40′ Kaku takes an outswinging corner to the middle of the penalty area for Gustavo Gomez, but it’s a defender who rises highest – clearing the ball out of the penalty area immediately.
38′ Paraguay are looking to keep possession with less than 10 minutes left, but the Argentina midfield has done a good job containing Berizzo’s side. They’re moving up the pitch slowly via a succession of throw-ins, but there are very few options for the man on the ball once it’s in play.
36′ Argentina and Paraguay have met 25 times at the Copa America. The Albiceleste have never lost to the Albirroja in the competition (W19 D6).
34′ A reckless sliding challenge that takes down Avalos sees Paredes booked – the first card for an Argentina player tonight.
32′ Almiron’s rampaging run through the middle of the park is stopped on the edge of the 18-yard box by a wonderful sliding challenge from Pezzella, who wins possession in the process.
30′ A Paraguay corner taken short is then put in the penalty area looking for Gustavo Gomez, but again Cristian Romero is in the right position to make a clearing header.
28′ Messi is making his 147th appearance for the Albiceleste tonight, equalling the record for most caps held by Javier Mascherano.
26′ Espinola fires a shot from outside the penalty area high and wide after Kaku’s quickfire shot was closed down and blocked by Cristian Romero.
24′ Piris goes lunging into a challenge on Pezzella, who had vacated his spot at centre-back to push forward. It’s just a talking to for the physical midfielder, who surely won’t get another warning.
22′ The current result would be enough to see the Albiceleste go first in the group, two points in front of Chile ahead of their final match. The victory would also confirm the Albiceleste’s passage into the next round of the tournament.
20′ Paraguay’s first corner of the match is swung in from the right by Angel Romero, but Paredes is in the right position to get to it first to clear it away.
18′ MESSI COMES CLOSE! The Argentina number 10 opts to strike the set-piece low and hard, bending it around the wall in the process. It’s a great effort, but it fails to curl enough to nestle in the bottom corner, missing the target by inches!
16′ Aguero is taken down by a strong Gustavo Gomez challenge right on the edge of the penalty area. The Paraguay captain had no chance to win the ball and is shown a yellow card for the infringement.
14′ Angel Romero sends the free-kick into the penalty area with his left foot looking for Avalos, but the striker’s header is popped straight up into the air for an easy Emiliano Martinez catch.
12′ Tagliafico takes Espinola down on the right flank with a mistimed challenge, giving Paraguay a chance to restore parity from a set-piece.
10′ Di Maria has looked dangerous in the opening 10 minutes, cutting inside and playing passes through the defence. It works to perfection this time, as he’s credited with the assist!
10′ ALEJANDRO GOMEZ MAKES IT 1-0 ARGENTINA! It’s a lovely finish from the Sevilla player, who receives a Di Maria throughball inside the penalty area and chips the oncoming keeper with a deft touch!
8′ AGUERO PUTS IT OVER! Poor communication from Gustavo Gomez and Piris leads to both players attempting a header, causing them to collide inside the penalty area. Aguero picks up the loose ball on the penalty spot and looks to make the defence pay, but his swiveled shot is put onto the roof of the net!
6′ Alejandro Gomez winds up and fires a strike from well outside the penalty area with his left foot, sending it high of Silva’s goal.
4′ Paredes sprays a pass to the far side for Molina, whose first-touch pass is intercepted easily by Arzamendia at the near post.
2′ Di Maria cuts inside and looks to slip Messi through into the penalty area, but a heavy touch from the Argentina captain allows Silva to gather the ball.
1′ Argentina get the match underway from the kick-off!
Paraguay make a single change to the line-up that beat Bolivia one week ago, as Mathias Villasanti is dropped for Cubas in midfield.
Argentina make six changes to the XI that lined up against Uruguay, as Scaloni looks to freshen up the side that played three days ago. Otamendi and Acuna are rotated for Tagliafico and Pezzella, while De Paul and Lo Celso drop out of midfield for Gomez and Paredes. The attack sees another two changes, as Di Maria and Aguero are preferred to Lautaro Martinez and Nicolas Gonzalez.
PARAGUAY SUBS: Angel Cardozo Lucena, Gaston Gimenez, Omar Alderete, Fabian Balbuena, Richard Sanchez, Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Ortiz, Robert Rojas, Hector Martinez, Oscar Romero, Alfredo Aguilar, Braian Samudio.
PARAGUAY XI (4-2-3-1): Antony Silva; Alberto Espinola, Gustavo Gomez, Junior Alonso, Santiago Arzamendia; Adrian Cubas, Robert Piris; Kaku, Miguel Almiron, Angel Romero; Gabriel Avalos.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Gonzalo Montiel, Lisandro Martinez, Joaquin Correa, Julian Alvarez, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Dominguez, Angel Correa, Agustin Marchesin, Lautaro Martinez, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Franco Armani, Rodrigo De Paul.
ARGENTINA XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nicolas Tagliafico, German Pezzella, Cristian Romero, Nahuel Molina; Alejandro Gomez, Guido Rodriguez, Leandro Paredes; Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides will be lining up – starting with Argentina!
Paraguay started their tournament off on the right foot with a 3-1 victory over Bolivia, with both Angel Romero and Kaku finding the back of the net. The win for Eduardo Berizzo’s side was their first since beating Venezuela 1-0 in World Cup qualifying in October 2020, though in that time they’ve managed credible draws against both Brazil and Argentina.
Argentina successfully ended a streak of three straight draws last time out with a tight 1-0 win over Uruguay – good enough for second in the group behind Chile ahead of kick-off. The three points against Paraguay would guarantee Lionel Scaloni’s side a place in the next round, though Argentina have failed to beat tonight’s opponents in their last four meetings – a run that stretches back to 2015.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Copa America fixture between Argentina and Paraguay!