Copa America Quarterfinals: Paraguay 2-Brazil 0
Revenge! Sweet Revenge!. This is how the latest victory of our beloved Albirroja over Brazil felt last Saturday. After both regulation and over time finished in a 0-0 draw, Paraguay were much better at keeping their nerve and scoring their penalty kicks while Brazil fired three shots wide or high and one penalty kick was saved by Villar.
They didn’t beat us in the group stage game (2-2), but their last minute equalizer in that game surely felt like we were robbed of a deserved victory.
I have been hoping for a play-off game against Brazil ever since the World Cup. I finally got the GAME and the WIN as I was hoping and expecting.
Given the Brazilian media’s arrogant and vicious treatment of Paraguay, taking Brazil out of the tournament makes this victory particularly flavorful. The Copa America quarterfinals is as good as venue as any.
We have the right to keep dreaming for a title we haven’t achieved since 1979.
It has been a very long time since I have seen Paraguay on the defensive end of such a one-sided game. Justo Villar became a hero after at least three spectacular saves against Lucio, “Pato”, and “Ganso”. When Villar wasn’t there to make the save, Antolin Alcaraz and Edgar Barreto cleared the ball from the line. That’s five goal opportunities for Brazil right there, and I can remember at least one more opportunity Neymar fired wide.
Why was our performance so far from that of our group game? First, we evidently missed Roque Santa Cruz. He played both games he was in as a midfielder. Second, the other player who helped us in ball possession was Nestor Ortigoza. However, as I mentioned before, he is a defensive liability and is responsible for the first Venezuelan goal in the group stage. Finally, Maicon made a very big difference on the Brazilian side and we saw much less of Marcelo Estigarribia.
Although Martino didn’t give himself any credit for this win, I think playing Hernan Perez in the overtime gave a few precious minutes of relief to our defense. He came on, kept the ball, and even generated a few fouls on the Brazilian half.
The penalty kicks.
I love the images of the Brazilian players looking at the grass after missing their shots. It was the fault of the grass! What sore losers! I heard reports they had physicists explaining why the Brazilians missed all their penalty kicks. How ridiculous!
If anybody will listen to me, I can clearly explain why the Brazilians missed all the penalty kicks. As we say in Paraguay, “se cagaron todo!!!!”. That means they choked, but I don’t blame them. It can happen to anyone in their circumstances. When you shoot at a goalie for 120 minutes and he saves EVERYTHING you send his way, this has got to affect your nerves and it was evident among the Brazilian players. In Brazil, they probably still blame the grass.
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