Breaking news: Uruguay won their 15th Copa America crown, with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Paraguay, in the final. Suarez (12th minute), and Forlan (42nd and 90th minutes) were the goal scorers.
The following preview was published on July 21, 2011:
Paraguay are set to meet Uruguay in the final of the Copa America on Sunday, July 24, after despatching Venezuela 5-3, in a penalty shoot out in the semi-finals, on Wednesday, after the sides played out a goalless stalemate. Uruguay had earlier beaten Peru, 2-0, on Wednesday, to reserve their berth in the final.
Uruguay are overwhelming favourites to win their 15th Copa America title, and have been very positive en route to the final, although they had only two outright wins in their five games so far. They drew with an identical 1-1 scoreline against Peru and Chile in the group games, and beat Mexico 1-0. In the quarter-finals, Uruguay played out a 1-1 draw against Argentina, in a match that saw both teams reduced to 10 men, and prevailed in the resultant penalty shoot out. But their most impressive performance thus far came in the semi-finals against Peru, when Suarez struck two second half goals, in the space of six minutes, to propel his side to the final.
Paraguay have played out five stalemates, drawing 0-0 with Ecuador, 2-2 with Brazil and 3-3 with Venezuela, in the group matches. Their quarter-final encounter with Brazil was a goalless affair, as was the semi-final with Venezuela. Paraguay won both those matches in penalty shoot outs, 2-0 against Brazil, and 5-3 against Venezuela. Thus, luck has favoured Paraguay, but against Uruguay they will need more than just luck. Also, Paraguay have shown an inability to finish off an opponent when they were ahead, as in the case of the group game against Venezuela which they led 3-1 till the 89th minute of the match, and which they contrived to lose in the last minute of regulation time and injury time.
Estigarribia has been Paraguay’s best player, and troubled Dani Alves no end, in the quarter-finals. But the midfielder did not find a place in the first eleven against Venezuela in the semi-finals. Jonathan Santana was sent off during the game and will have to sit out the final and Estigarribia could get a great chance to prove his worth, in the final. Keeper Justo Villar, the hero of the last two games can also make a winning difference.
For Uruguay, Suarez has proved to the lynchpin, with able support from Forlan, and Paraguay’s defence could be sorely tested, on Sunday; their back-line was porous in the semi-finals with Venezuela.
Paraguay’s best hope would be to hold out for a draw, and push the match into penalty shoot outs, in which they have proven expertise.
Paraguay also have an additional incentive to win this match and go on to win the Copa America: Larissa Riquelme. (Click here to find out more).
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Copa America 2011 Player Profile: Luis Alberto Suarez | July 21, 2011