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The second match of Group B ended with a win for Paraguay against Bolivia just like FootTheBall predicted. Paraguay came from behind to secure the crucial three points in their opening fixture. With the likes of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to face, this win would be of utmost importance. An emphatic show of attacking dominance, but one that also lacked quality finishing.



As for Bolivia, they are likely to have a tough time against the bigger teams in the group. If this scoreline is anything to go by, their Copa America campaign might just be a disaster. The scoreline read 3-1 to Paraguay after a lopsided ninety minutes of football.


Paraguay took charge of the game immediately upon kick-off. The first chance came just a minute into the game, which resulted in a corner. The well-worked corner, something that came out of the training ground ended just wide of the post. Paraguay looked like they were going to boss the game,but Bolivia was not ready to give in so easily.

Their first attack in the game, through the left channel, ended with a cross into the box. Diego Bejarano’s right-footed volley from the cross was blocked inside the box. Immediate protests for a handball were raised and after a lengthy VAR check, the referee pointed to the spot. Santiago Arzamendia, the Paraguayan player, also received a yellow card for the infringement.



Erwin Saavedra stepped up to the spot to take the penalty. A strong right-footed shot drilled the ball past the outstretched hands of the keeper. A confident penalty that was struck with power and precision.

Bolivia remained largely dormant since opting to protect their lead instead. Eighteen minutes in and Bolivia found themselves on the receiving end of a penalty decision. Again, after a lengthy VAR check, the penalty decision was overturned due to an offside decision preceding the penalty. The decisions were just not favouring dominant Paraguay.

Paraguay dominated the rest of the half, creating plenty of chances, but none finding the net. They came close to scoring, but poor finishing cost them dearly. Only positive Paraguay took from the first half was the late red card for Bolivian player Jaume Cuellar. The Bolivian forward received a second yellow card following a bad tackle in the first half extra time.


Just like in the opening half, the second half kicked off with Paraguay taking the initiative. The Los Guaraníes La Albirroja were looking to take advantage of the man down Bolivian team. They controlled possession for the majority of the game, sending in cross after cross, hoping to find the goal they need. Bolivia on the other hand was forced back into its own half. Their rare moments with the ball often ended quickly as the Paraguayan players were keen to dispossess them.



After surges of intense pressure, Paraguay finally found the breakthrough. Kaku Romero, the right-winger hit a beautiful volleyed shot from outside the box to find the equaliser. The well-timed volley was struck perfectly to the bottom left corner of the goal, far out of the reach of the goalkeeper.

The goal gave them the confidence they needed. Just minutes later, Paraguay claimed the lead through the prolific Angel Romero. A Carlos Gonzalez header from the far right of the goal was saved by Cordano in goal, but it fell kindly for Angel Romero who guided it in from close proximity.



Paraguay kept creating chance after chance, not giving any time for a breather. By the eightieth minute, Paraguay had created thirty attempts on goal, with ten of them finding the target. The eightieth-minute goal by Angel Romero sealed the game. A well-worked goal through the left channel, a deserved winning goal for the dominant side.


The role of VAR was crucial in this game just as it was in the Argentina-Chile match. Two major on-field refereeing decisions were overturned after lengthy reviews in the first half alone. The first, a penalty shout just minutes into the game. The dynamic of the entire game changed as a result of the goal as a result of the penalty decision.



After careful review, the Bolivian protests for a handball in the box was judged to be true. Even through slow-motion reviews, the decision appears controversial. The second decision was an overturned penalty decision, once again favouring the Bolivians. A hairline offside decision ruled out the clear penalty that should have gone Paraguay’s way. Once again, a debatable decision, one that raises doubts over the accuracy of such decisions.


Apart from the much debatable penalty in the opening minutes, Bolivia had no case in the match, they were poor in every department against Paraguay. They rode their luck for the first half but the second half proved deadly. The red card did not help either, even though it wouldn’t have mattered.



The scoreline could have been even more emphatic if Paraguay had found their shooting boots. With just under twenty per cent of the possession, there was virtually no Bolivian attacking threat. In defence, it was more of ‘throw bodies in front and hope’ rather than a good organization.

They made just close to 150 passes and had a dismal pass accuracy near the 60 per cent mark. Considering that Paraguay might be the easiest opponent they could have in the group, it is unlikely they go through to the knockouts.

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