Argentina vs Paraguay, Copa America 2021, LIVE SCORE and COMMENTARY


34 min ago

That’s it from me, Sunaadh Sagar, tonight! Thanks for joining me for this game and do check back for Sportskeeda’s post-match analysis and further live coverage of the Copa America and the Euros. Thank you!

Adios!38 min agoFull-Time: Argentina 1-0 Paraguay

Argentina qualify for the quarterfinals while also going top of the Copa America South Zone group with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Paraguay. Papu Gomez’ 10th minute goal was enough for the win, with Angel di Maria excelling in the build up. Lionel Messi had a quiet game as Paraguay dominated the ball for much of the second half, but huffed-and-puffed when it came to creating chances.

The Albiceleste have played out similar 1-0 wins in their last two games, dropping deep after taking the lead, with Cristian Romero and Guido Rodriguez adding steel to Scaloni’s defensive setup. Paraguay, meanwhile, have two games to go and ought to qualify, with plenty of positives to take from their performance tonight.42 min ago90+5′ The referee blows for full time!43 min ago90+4′ Messi goes for goal from the free-kick, with Anthony Silva punching the ball well clear having positioned himself well. Argentina retain possession, with Joaquin Correa earning a corner to waste more time.44 min ago90+3′ Messi and Molina waste a bit of time down the right wing, with the latter earning a free-kick. Argentina take it short once more, and it’s Angel Correa’s turn to earn another free-kick.45 min ago90+1′ Dreadful stuff from Paraguay who are sending in aimless balls into the box, with Carlos Gonzales trying his best. Espinola is the latest to attempt a ball into the box, but it’s well over and goes out for a goal-kick.47 min ago90′ We will have a minimum of 4 minutes of injury time48 min ago89′ Almiron spins away from a couple of challenges and drives down the left wing, sending in a low cross. Emi Martinez collects the ball with ease with on pressure on the ball.48 min ago88′ Paraguay defend the corner well, and win possession back, remaining disconcertingly calm as they patiently build up another attack. Arzamendia sends in a cross, but it’s well overhit.49 min ago87′ Samu and Carlos Gonzales come on to replace Gabriel Avalos and Angel Romero for Paraguay.50 min ago86′ The game has devolved into a battle in midfield, with both sides losing the ball plenty of times. Tagliafico has enough of the poor play and makes a run forward, finding Correa in the box, who eventually earns a corner.53 min ago84′ Paraguay are a bit of a bogey team for Argentina, having not lost their last four games against the Albiceleste. They’re controlling the ball for the moment, but all of the play is ahead of the defence as Argentina drop ever more deeper.55 min ago82′ Richard Sanchez comes on to replace Robert Piris for Paraguay.57 min ago80′ Nicolas Dominguez and Angel Correa come on to replace Leandro Paredes and Angel di Maria for Argentina.57 min ago79′ Di Maria and Messi are guilty of hanging on to the ball a bit too long while in promising positions to shoot in a rare foray forward from Argentina. Scaloni looks ever more nervous on the touchline…59 min ago78′ A couple of nervy moments for Argentina in defence, as Avalos narrowly misses a cross and there are some panicked clearances on display. Paraguay are right on top – can they capitalise for once?60 min ago77′ Angel Romero takes the free-kick…. and sends it straight into the wall. This is getting to be a hour ago76′ Avalos wins a free-kick on the edge of the box, outfoxing Romero with a clever turn, with the Atalanta defender bringing him down. This could be a great chance for Paraguay, with plenty of candidates ready to take the hour ago74′ Oscar Romero has been impressive after coming on, displaying his full range of passing, the latest of which finds Almiron on the left. The Newcastle United star immediately earns a corner, playing the ball off of Molina. As is tradition (for this game anyway), Paraguay do nothing with their hour ago72′ Rodrigo de Paul comes on to replace Papu Gomez for hour ago72′ A spurt of niggly fouls in midfield have reduced the game to quite a stop-start hour ago68′ It’s Paraguay’s turn to keep the ball, but Argentina hold firm in defence, dropping deeper to prevent Almiron and co. from making threatening runs. Cristian Romero concedes a foul in midfield, but is on the wrong end of another foul when the set-piece comes into the box, with Gus Gomez the perpetrator this hour ago66′ Oscar Romero and Angel Lucena come on to replace Andres Cubas and Alejandro Romero for hour ago65′ An excellent spell of possession from Argentina, with plenty of first-time passes, but Paraguay keep their shape well to prevent any hour ago62′ Almiron troubles Molina once again, bursting past him and charging into the box, but the full-back recovers well to make a late challenge and even earn a goal-kick. This has been a superb battle to watch!an hour ago60′ Almiron wins a free-kick after bursting through three Argentinian defenders, with Guido Rodriguez tripping him up. Angel Romero stands over the free-kick down the left wing. His delivery to the far-post comes in with pace, but Emi Martinez jumps high to claim the ball hour ago59′ Joaquin Correa comes on to replace Sergio Aguero for Argentina. A frustrating night for the veteran hour ago57′ Emi Martinez is a bit fortunate as he spills the ball in the box, but Espinola is penalised for backing into him, when replays show he was clearly attempting to just head the hour ago56′ Paraguay take it short and eventually clip the ball into the box, which goes out of play. The referee mistakenly awards another corner and Paraguay have a series of corners. A fourth one coming up…an hour ago56′ Almiron earns a corner off Molina, who makes a desperate block. I wouldn’t expect much from this hour ago54′ Messi looks a bit peeved after Junior Alonso brings him down on the half-way line. It’s been quite rough from both sides in the last few minutes, with an emphasis on winning the midfield hour ago52′ It’s been a niggly few minutes full of fouls, with Guido Rodriguez the latest to earn a free-kick and ease the pressure on hour ago50′ Messi clips the ball into the box as Junior Alonso heads the ball clear, but Paraguay lose the ball while attempting to hour ago49′ Di Maria earns a foul down the right-wing after an excellent counter-attack that also involved Aguero and Messi charging through the middle. Messi and Paredes stand over the free-kick…an hour ago47′ SHOT! Almiron and Arzamendia exchange passes down the left wing, with Arzamendia finding himself with the ball in the box and letting fly, only to see his shot blocked and earn a corner. In no difference to the first half, Paraguay don’t do much with the set-piece.2 hr ago46′ AND WE’RE OFF! Paraguay get us underway in the second half, kicking off from right to left.2 hr agoThe players are back out and the second half is coming up next!2 hr agoIt was a half of contrasts, with Paraguay having 73% possession in the final 15 minutes of the first half, while Argentina had 60% possession in the first 15 minutes of the game. 

Meanwhile, there’s a fair bit of controversy regarding the ruling out of the own goal in the final minutes of the first half, with Lionel Messi adjudged to be offside when Di Maria’s shot came in. A bit generous, since Messi did not appear to be blocking the goalkeeper’s view. The debate over the VAR decision will definitely rage on, especially if Argentina don’t walk away with a win tonight.

Half-Time: Argentina 1-0 Paraguay

Argentina take a narrow lead going into the break, thanks to an early goal from Papu Gomez after an excellent pass from Angel Di Maria. Paraguay, however, have held their own with the Albiceleste unable to create more clear-cut chances, while also keeping Lionel Messi fairly quiet. Miguel Almiron has excelled for the Albirroja, but Paraguay have been unable to fashion gilt-edged chances of their own.

An intriguing second half is coming up, stay tuned!2 hr ago45+3′ The referee blows for half-time.2 hr ago45+3′ The goal is ruled out for offside by the VAR.2 hr ago45+1′ GOOOAAAL? An own goal from Junior Alonso is ruled out thanks to a late flag. The move began with Angel di Maria cutting inside and shooting forcing Silva to palm the ball back into play. Papu Gomez sent in a low cross that Alonso turned into his own net.

VAR is checking the goal for offside…
2 hr ago45′ We will have 1 minute of injury time.2 hr ago44′ Almiron sets off on yet another counter down the middle, but Molina is on hand to trip him up. He is fortunate to escapes a yellow card. Gus Gomez clatters into Tagliafico when the free-kick comes in and concedes a foul.2 hr ago41′ CHANCE! Messi goes square from the free-kick, with Di Maria sending the ball into the box from the right. Pezzella gets his head to the ball and forces Silva to make a save.2 hr ago40′ Alejandro Romero and Almiron combine well down the left wing and burst into the box, but Cristian Romero is on hand to clear the ball out for a corner. Pezzella heads the ball clear from the set-piece and Di Maria sets off on the counter. Alonso brings him down with a cynical challenge and escapes a yellow card.2 hr ago38′ Messi sets off on another one of his runs through the middle as he leads a counter-attack, but with only Sergio Aguero in support, the move is snuffed out as Gomez and Alonso crowd Messi out.2 hr ago37′ Paraguay have dominated the ball in the last few minutes, but all of their attacks have come to naught with Guido Rodriguez and Paredes snuffing out danger at the earliest opportunity.

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