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Paraguay advances to final with penalty kick win over Venezuela

Paraguay Venezuela 1 (Reuters) 



For the second straight game Paraguay had the game taken to them by its opponent. For the second straight game Paraguay was held scoreless. And for the second straight game, Pararaguay persevered and won on penalty kicks.

Paraguay advanced to the Copa America final on Wednesday night with a 5-3 penalty kick win over Venezuela following a scoreless tie. Justo Villar's save on Franklin Lucena's effort allowed Dario Veron to hit the winning spot kick in a game that marked Paraguay's return to the tournament final for the first time since 1979.

Venezuela, which is arguebaly the tournament's biggest surprise, forced the issue for much of the game, and could have come away with a win had a pair of shots not hit the crossbar. The Venezuelans even looked to have scored in regulation, but a header from Oswaldo Vizcarrondo unluckily hit Jose Rondon before going in and Rondon was ruled offside.

But Paraguay, which has yet to win a game in regulation or extra time in this tournament, held on to force a shootout, just as it did against Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Following the conclusion of the penalty kicks a brawl broke out between the teams, but no players were ejected.

Paraguay's win means it will take on Uruguay in the final on July 24 while Venezuela and Peru will square off in the third-place match a day earlier.

Here are highlights from the game:



What do you think of Paraguay's penalty kick win over Venezuela? Surprised a team which has yet to win in regulation or extra tima is on to the final? Who do you see winning the third-place game and final?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Venezuela played better for long stretches and deserved to win the game. I’m still not sure why Vizcarrondo’s goal was disallowed.

  2. Bad luck for Venezuela. They weren’t amazing, but they hit the crossbar twice and the post once. The free kick that hit the crossbar would have been an amazing goal. The Paraguayans were surprisingly chippy and didn’t seem to take well to the fact that they couldn’t put away Venezuela as easily as they thought they would, plus with the fight at the end of the game, it looks like a new rivalry has been born in South America. Hats off to Venezuela for making it this far for the first time in their history.

  3. I agrree that Paraguay played poorly in its last 2 matches. Howenver, lets not forget their first round matches; They completely outplayed Ecuador but settled for a tie, they outplayer Brazil but were tied in the 90th minute by Brazil due to careless defending and were outplaying and up 3-1 against Venezuela once again giving up this time 2 2oals in the last 2 minutes. Paraguay were unlucky to not get 3 wins in the first round but were lucky to get ties and eventually win on penalties in the 2nd round….

  4. Actually, there was an Venezuelan player slightly offside that seems to bump into Villar (Paraguay’s GK) when Vizcarrondo scored. I think disallowing the goal was a good call.

  5. Venezuela goal was offside vizcarrondo scored but the ball hit rondon shoulder so it was offside. Paraguay and Uruguay are the ones who did a better world cup than the rest of the south Americans.

  6. Lucky lucky Paraguay! For the sake of football, Uruguay must win the final. Venezuela did everything but score a goal last night. Unbelievable!!!

  7. It was clearly not offside. There wasn’t even a hint of offside — both players were onside by 2 yards. Univision showed the replay once and I didn’t see a foul. The AR put his flag up, but for what? I have no idea. Should have been a goal. I didn’t watch the second half, but Venezuala deserved that goal and probably the win. Paraguay has a lot of hacks and I hope Uruguay take it them.

  8. Yawn. Amazing how subpar this Copa America has been. Paraguay, a team who shot exactly 0 times on Brazil, has won 0 games in regulation / extra time, and has scored exactly twice this entire C.A. is in the final. Disgrace.

    I hope Uruguay beats them 5-0.

  9. “But Paraguay, which has yet to win a game in regulation or extra time in this tournament…”

    Goodness. What luck they are riding. It will end Sunday.

  10. 0-0 and a shootout? What a surprise! Paraguay never wins games like that.

    A lot of Paraguay defenders are saying that the team plays a totally different style when Cabanas is present. To which I give the following stats:

    2011 Copa – three 0-0 draws
    2010 WC – won group with a win and 2 draws (3 goals); 0-0 over Japan in knockout round
    2007 Copa – taking away the assaults of terrible US and Colombia teams, did not score in other 2 games
    2006 WC – 2 goals in 3 games, both against a terrible T&T side

    If they win, it’s worse than Greece in the Euro 2004 tourney. Just an assault on the eyes and the beautiful game of soccer.

  11. You have got to be kidding right? I’m not a fan of Uruguay’s tactics, but at least they have some. Paraguay is dreadful. How Brazil could not bury there chances is beyond me.

  12. For the sake of the “beautiful” game, let’s hope Uruguay wins. Paraguay’s performance in this Copa reminds me of Greece in Euro 2004…not good for soccer.


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