The Paraguayan national team football surprised this Thursday with a resounding 3-1 to an overshadowed Ecuadorwho still secured his qualification for the Qatar World Cup 2022in the penultimate round of the Conmebol South American qualifiers.
Under persistent rain at the Antonio Aranda stadium in Ciudad del Este, La Albirroja bet on winning and kept three points that reconciled them at home with their fans. Robert Morales and Miguel Almirón converted for the Guarani team. Piero Hincapié, the Ecuadorian defender for Germany’s Bayer 04 Leverkusen, scored an own goal. The discount for the visitors was scored by Jordy Caicedo, with a penalty shot in the 85th minute.
The first warning bell for the Argentinian Gustavo Alfaro was sounded by Morales, in the 9th minute when he put the score in favor of Paraguay. The Cerro Porteño striker showed courage by converting a pass that he received in the area, despite being resentful of a blow that ended up taking him off the pitch.
The strong Paraguayan defense, which saw several yellow cards, managed to close the spaces of La Tri, leaving it without options to disturb Antony Silva’s goal. The pressure from the Guarani had an effect on Hincapié who, faced with an insistent mark from a rival, tried to clear with a ball towards his own goal and scored an own goal.
The adverse result ended up blurring at times the approach of Ecuadorians. The locals insisted and Almirón extended the lead for Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s team in the 54th minute.
Caicedo did not let his team say goodbye without celebrating a goal. Near the end of the match, he signed a penalty that the Venezuelan referee Jesús Valenzuela sentenced after reviewing the VAR.
Thus, the Paraguayan Albirroja adds 16 points while Gustavo Alfaro’s team kept 25 and his long-awaited early classification.
On the last day of the road from Conmebol to Qatar 2022, Paraguay, already without options, will be judge of Peru in Lima, which is playing its qualification for the playoffs, while Ecuador will face the already qualified Argentina.
3 – Paraguay: Anthony Silva; Gustavo Gómez, Fabián Balbuena, Robert Rojas (m.77 Alberto Espínola), Blas Riveros, Richard Ortiz, Andrés Cubas (m.64 Mathías Villasanti), Richard Sánchez, (m.77 Josué Colmán) Miguel Almirón; Robert Morales (d. 13 Ángel Romero) and Julio Enciso (d. 77 José Florentín).
Coach: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
1 – Ecuador: Hernan Galindez; Ángel Preciado (m.48 Romairo Ibarra), Félix Torres, Piero Hincapié, Pervis Estupiñan; Carlos Gruezo, Jhegson Méndez (m. 75 Michael Carcelén), Byron Castillo, Joao Rojas (m. 48 Jeremy Sarmiento); Ángel Mena (m.75 Jordy Caicedo) and Enner Valencia (m.57 Michael Estrada).
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro.
Goals: 1-0, Morales (d. 27); 2-0, Hincapié (m. 51); 3-0, Almirón (m. 53); 3-1, Caicedo (d. 85)
Referee: Venezuelan Jesús Valenzuela yellowed Almirón (m.32), Riveros (m.39), Cubas (m.42), Gustavo Gómez (m.80), Villasanti (m.90) and sent Riveros off in the minute 88
Incidents: Match of the seventeenth day of the South American qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup played at the Antonio Aranda stadium, in Ciudad del Este, before 28,000 spectators