Copa América: Paraguay reveals Chile’s scars | America’s Soccer Cup 2021


Miguel Almirón celebrates his goal against Chile before the lament of Claudio Bravo.
Miguel Almirón celebrates his goal against Chile before the lament of Claudio Bravo.Joedson Alves / EFE

Paraguay has shown the garments of Chile. What Uruguay could not do due to its lack of goal, nor the tepidity of Argentina was achieved by the power of Paraguay. Eduardo Berizzo’s redhead has struck the table in the Copa América and challenges himself with the Charrúa to define the second place in the group.

Paraguay understood that to hurt the Chileans they needed to clear the way for the most skillful young man in the field: Miguel Almirón. The Newcastle midfielder moved the chains and pushed his striker, Carlos González, to pressure the departure of Arturo Vidal. The first Paraguayan blow was in a corner kick that Almirón took to put the ball to Braian Samudio’s temple for the 0-1.

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Chile, without Alexis Sánchez due to injury, could not find the goal men: Eduardo Vargas and Ben Brereton. La Roja stagnated in the gaps of the party without finding the door. Already in the second half, the Paraguayan González was knocked down in the area by Gary Medel. Penalty scored, shot taken by Almirón. Advantage 0-2 that punctured Chile.

Things got worse for Chileans when the pitbull of the defense, Medel, had to ask for his change. Arturo Vidal, who was playing a defensive midfielder, desperately asked for a penalty to be scored for them. And reasons were not lacking: he had seen that his rival, González, had his arm raised in a corner. The central Wilmar Roldán dismissed it.

Chile clung to looking for the discount in the last minutes. The creativity of the forwards was dry. The Paraguayans prepared to defend the scoreboard, but the team began to lose men. Ángel Cardozo Lucena left the field after an ankle discomfort. In the added time, the albirroja was left with 10 men after Antonio Barreiro had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. His right knee did not hold in a routine jump.

Vidal discusses with the referee Roldán the controversial play of the Paraguayan González.
Vidal discusses with the referee Roldán the controversial play of the Paraguayan González.Ricardo Mazalan / AP

Not even making amends were worth Chile to overcome Paraguay. One day before the game, the Chilean footballers showed a symbolic hug between Arturo Vidal and Claudio Bravo on their social networks. Both figures of the Red had a hard clash when the team was eliminated on the way to the World Cup in Russia. A series of messages sent between the relatives of the two footballers caused the breakup. Vidal even assured that “we are never going to be friends again.” That seemed to be left behind as shown by a reconciliation scene recorded for Instagram.

The circumstances have not been positive for Chile. Last weekend the team broke the health bubble at their hotel by hiring a barber. The Chilean press assured that the matter had escalated to the point that the coach, Martín Lasarte, had threatened to resign due to the team’s disobedience. For two days the team did not train in the field. Despite that, the players closed ranks and drew a 1-1 draw against Uruguay.

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