Argentina vs Paraguay, Wednesday’s match of the Copa América, Group B, at the Mineirão stadium, in the state of Minas Gerais.
Pressured by an extensive list of failures that surpasses a decade, the Argentina national team saw more wood to be put in the bonfire with the defeat in the debut in the 46th session of the Copa América. On Saturday, June 15, at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, they took 2 to 0 of Colombia.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest target of criticism from the public was the striker Lionel Messi, multiple times winner of the award for best player on the planet. He assimilated the coup attempting to signal leadership and in preparation for Wednesday’s meeting he talked to his colleagues individually to motivate them to the confrontation.
Also as might be expected, coach Lionel Scaloni sought a scapegoat, which would never be his greatest resource. His victim was midfielder Angel di Maria. The Paris Saint-Germain player was taken out of the game in the interval of the clash with Colombia and everything indicates that he lost his place in the team. Rodrigo de Paul, who plays for Udinese, has stepped in and will be among the starters to face the Paraguayans.
Emotional reactions aside, Argentina’s performance was not disastrous, just the result. With more control of possession of the ball (55.4%), the team had more opportunities to finish (12), hit 50% of those shots in the rival goal while opponents had nine shooting chances and sent only two (22.2% ) to the target. But it was those who stopped at the bottom of the nets.
The Paraguayan team scored in the first match, but had a disappointing performance. Against the Qatar team, invited to this competition, came to open front of two goals on the scoreboard, but ended up having to settle for a draw by 2 to 2.
The South Americans scored just four minutes into the opening stages in a penalty with Oscar Cardozo and extended to 11 minutes of the second half through Derliz Gonzalez. The reaction began with Ali Almoez in the 23rd minute and was completed by Bouaem Khoukhi in the 32nd minute.
The lack of consistency in the preparation work, which involved four coaches in just over a year, was clearly demonstrated in the immaturity of the tactical system in which the Paraguayan team was unable to maintain possession of the ball (42.9%) any longer in front of a technically inferior team nor accelerated the game when it was necessary to look for the counterattacks.
Although the poor result of the debut puts even more pressure on the Argentines, Paraguay’s weak defensive performance makes the prognosis in Argentina’s victory the best option for Wednesday’s match for the second round of the Copa América