FIFA World Cup 2022 South American qualifiers are back on track, and Paraguay and Ecuador paved their path to manifest their FIFA dreams in Bolivia and Argentina.
At the Hernando Siles Stadium, victory was in Ecuador’s favor as the final result was 3-2. However, La Bombonera saw a pretty different result – Argentina and Paraguay resulted in a draw with 1-1.
Carlos Gruezo’s late penalty was indeed a blessing as the goal sealed their fate for the day. The team had previously played against the regional legends, Argentina and Uruguay when they participated in away matches.
The Argentina vs. Paraguay match marked history as the former scored a header from a corner for the first time in 20 years. Before Nicolas Gonzalez, Roberto Ayala managed a goal during the qualifiers against Venezuela in 2000.
Coming back to the game, Paraguay started off with a promise. Franco Armani sprinted and denied a goal coming from Almiron. But Almiron found a penalty, giving an almost panic attack to the Argentina defenders. Romero, who currently plays in an Argentinean club, netted a goal at 21 minutes.
The Argentina defender, Nicolas Otamendi, commented, “We were a bit uncomfortable in the first half. Lo Celso made a real impact. Once we encouraged ourselves to have more of the ball, we spent more time in their half.”
On the other hand, Eduardo Berizzo, the Paraguay coach said, “I applaud the great effort of our footballers. The game demanded a lot from us defensively. We prevented Argentina finding players in space.”
Argentina’s Nicolas Gonzalez returned the goal at 41 minutes. On Friday, three heavyweight matches are waiting: Brazil vs. Venezuela, Chile vs. Peru, and Colombia vs. Uruguay.