News Live Scores

Paraguay v Qatar Live Commentary, 6/16/19

FT
2 - 2
PAR
QAT
O. Cardozo (4 pen)
D. González (56)
Almoez Ali (68)
R. Rojas (77 og)
Estadio Jornalista Mário Filho (Maracanã)

Commentary

Paraguay will have to pick themselves up for their game against Argentina next, while Qatar will be confident they can get a result against Colombia. Whoever gets out of Group B will fancy their chances of winning the Copa America. Let's see who does, eh? That's all for now. Goodbye!
A point apiece for both sides, then, which leaves Columbia top of Group B after their 2-0 victory over Argentina yesterday. All four sides have a decent chance of qualifying for the knockout round, but Paraguay will be disappointed they couldn't hold on for the win.
Well, that was fun. Paraguay took advantage of Qatar's lack of cutting edge in front of goal to go two goals to the good through a fabulous strike from the substitute Gonzalez. However, Qatar soon showed why they're Asian champions as Ali scored a wonderful goal of his own before Rojas' own goal meant Qatar pulled off an impressive comeback.
90' + 5' FULL TIME: PARAGUAY 2-2 QATAR
90' + 4' Afif wins a free kick on the left for Qatar. They'll get the last chance of the game. The delivery is poor and that will be that!
90' + 2' Qatar really want this win. They clamour for a penalty after Afif slips over under pressure from Alonso in Paraguay's penalty area but the ref isn't interested.
90' + 1' Afif and Ali combine through the middle and Ali has a sniff of goal. Valdez wins a free kick when Ali is a touch too forceful. Ali pounds the turf in frustration.
90' There will be four added minutes here. Can either side nick a late winner?
89' Either side could still get the three points here! Almiron nods a header down to Cardozo who shoots with his left foot and forces Al Sheeb to drop low to save.
Karim Boudiaf
Abdulaziz Hatem
Qatar
88' Qatar decide to freshen up late on. Hatim, who deserves a rest, is replaced by Boudiaf. 
87' Iturbe is fouled by Miguel. Hassan heads the delivery away and Qatar are suddenly three on two! Afif incorrectly passes left rather than right and the chance is gone.
85' Ali picks up the ball near the halfway line and runs towards Paraguay's defence. Spotting Hatim's run, he tries to slide the ball through to his teammate but Fernandez rushes out to claim it.
84' Paraguay are still in this. Cardozo's clever back-heel almost presents Almiron with a chance but Al Rawi is alert and sweeps up the danger.
J. Iturbe
C. Domínguez
Paraguay
83' Berizzo decides to make another change. Dominguez, who's faded in this second half, is replaced by Iturbe. 
F. Balbuena
Yellow Card
Paraguay
80' Paraguay need to keep their cool. Balbuena is booked for bundling over Khouhki on Qatar's left wing.
R. Sánchez
R. Rojas
Paraguay
79' To add injury to insult, Rojas is still tangled up in the goal netting from that failed clearance and looks to have hurt himself. He's eventually set free and replaced in midfield by Sanchez.
R. Rojas
Own Goal
Paraguay
77' GOAL! 2-2 QATAR! Paraguay's defence switches off and Afif slides Khouhki through the middle, and his shot is saved by Fernandez. Unfortunately for Paraguay, it loops up towards goal and Rojas can only head it into his own net! it's all level in the Maracana.
75' The free kicks are mounting up now. Khouhki goes from perpetrator to victim as he's taken out by Rojas.
73' Suddenly Qatar look like they can get back into this. There's a few delays as Khouhki and Cardozo both go down injured.
Boualem Khoukhi
Yellow Card
Qatar
71' Khouhki is Qatar's fourth player to get booked when he brings down Valdez. Qatar are a rather better side on the ball than off it.
70' That goal, by the way, was Ali's 10th goal for his country this year after his record-breaking nine in January's Asian Cup. The 22-year-old is on fire.
Tarek Salman
Assist
Qatar
68' That's an assist for Salman, who is only 21 years old but is now a vital player for his side. Qatar's future looks bright.
Almoez Ali
Goal
Qatar
68' GOAL! 2-1, and Qatar are back in business! The Middle Eastern side combine well down the left to get upfield before Salman passes to Ali just outside the Paraguay area. The forward curls a fantastic shot past Fernandez to get their first ever Copa America goal! That was a beauty.
67' Miguel wins a free-kick down the right as he's brought down by Dominguez. Hassan curls a cross in but Balbuena heads away. The West Ham defender has been solid today.
66' Khouhki's slack pass puts Qatar in trouble but Dominguez is offside as he loops an attempt into Al Sheeb's arms. Qatar have had 60% of possession in this game but have very little to show for it.
65' Gonzalez' neat footwork allows him to skip past two Qatari defenders down the right but he can't find the next pass. He's putting a stamp on this game, that's for sure.
Abdelkarim Hassan
Yellow Card
Qatar
61' Hassan is next to see yellow for a foul on Gonzalez. Bringing the Santos winger on looks to have been a masterstroke.
60' To their credit, Qatar are still gamely looking for a goal but are finding Paraguay's defence hard to break down. Hassan is caught offside from Afif's through-ball.
58' This game is a harsh lesson in reality for Qatar. They may be able to get away with slight profligacy in their home continent, but against South American sides they are liable to be punished, as Paraguay have proven. They're unlikely to get anything from this game now.
M. Almirón
Assist
Paraguay
56' Almiron gets the assist although, frankly, Gonzalez didn't need the help. Al Sheeb's despairing dive as he tried and failed to keep it out only made that strike more beautiful.
D. González
Goal
Paraguay
56' GOAL! 2-0 PARAGUAY! This one will definitely stand! Gonzalez makes amends by curling a fantastic shot past Al Sheeb from 25 yards.
53' Scrap that - the goal is ruled out! Cardozo was onside, but Gonzalez was offside earlier in the move as he latched onto a long ball from the back.
51' GOAL! 2-0 PARAGUAY! Almiron gives his markers the slip and powers down the inside-right, rolling the ball across goal for Cardozo to tap in. Paraguay start the second half as they did the first by grabbing a goal. Oh, wait, the referee is checking something...
50' Rojas looks to be fine, and Paraguay are getting forward...
48' Qatar start the half cautiously, aware of Paraguay's counter-attacking threat. Rojas nicks the ball off Madibo in the middle but looks to have injured himself in the process. He'll hobble off for now.
D. González
H. Pérez
Paraguay
46' Confirmation of an interesting change by Paraguay at half-time: Perez has gone off and has been replaced by Gonzalez. 
46' Paraguay get this second half started!
Qatar will have to be careful in the second half. Al Haydos and Hatim have looked enterprising through the centre, making two key passes each in the first half, but Dominguez, Almiron and Perez are causing them problems on the counter. One more goal for Paraguay and you sense there'll be no way back for the Asian champions.
That was a refreshing half of football with plenty of action. Since going behind early on to a Cardozo penalty, Qatar have controlled the play but not the game. Paraguay have found plenty of joy on the counter, yet Qatar really should be at least level after Ali fluffed a clear-cut chance right on the brink of half-time. 45 more minutes of this please!
45' + 1' HALF TIME: PARAGUAY 1-0 QATAR
45' Qatar get their best chance of the game right at the end of the half! Ali is set through on goal and Fernandez drops low to make an instinctive stop.
44' Qatar gather around the referee after Perez stands his ground and blocks Hassan's run forward. Again, the referee opts for leniency and only awards the free-kick.
42' Hassan picks the ball up in plenty of space and elects to boom the ball over. The shot was worth a try.
H. Pérez
Yellow Card
Paraguay
40' Perez is shown a yellow card for a foul on Hassan. He's troubling Qatar in more ways than one.
39' Perez is starting to assert some influence down Paraguay's right. Almiron sets him through down the flank and Al Sheeb drops low to save his shot. 
38' It's end-to-end stuff! After Cardozo has a shot blocked, Hatim latches onto Al Haydos' chip over the top and has his volley from a tight angle saved by Fernandez! This is an entertaining game.
37' It's another chance for Paraguay. Arzamendia powers down the left and spots Perez arriving at the far post but the cross is at a difficult height for Perez and he volleys wide. Paraguay have had nine shots to Qatar's three now, which shows Paraguay's threat on the break.
35' Dominguez takes the free-kick from the left wing and finds the head of Balbuena who can only power his header over! Paraguay are seeing less of the ball but are getting the better chances.
33' Paraguay get a brief spell in Qatar's half. Miguel puts in a clumsy challenge on Almiron and is at risk of being sent off! The ref lets the full-back off with just the foul, even though Miguel talks back to him a little more than is wise in his situation.
31' Khouhki gets on the end of Hatim's delivery from the corner but the midfielder can only nod the header wide at the far post.
30' Qatar have been playing more of a 4-4-1-1 here, despite having seemed to go with their usual 5-3-2 pre-game. Qatar get a corner after Hatim's attempted cross is poked out by Ortiz after a nice slide-rule pass through.
28' Al Haydos spots Afif in space on the left flank. The winger needs support though and passes back to Hassan. Qatar are easy on the eye but are lacking cutting edge at the moment.
Tarek Salman
Yellow Card
Qatar
26' After the ref consults his team, Salman is booked for simulation. Quite right too.
25' Two Qatar men go down in the Paraguay penalty area in quick succession - Al Haydos and Salman. The referee isn't impressed by the first incident, but pauses to check with VAR. On first glance it looks like Valdez just nicked the ball from the toe of Salman.
25' This time the corner is delivered to the near post but Qatar can't quite get it away. Perez rolls a gentle volley into the arms of Al Sheeb. No threat to Qatar's goal there.
23' A one-two by Qatar breaks down and Dominguez spots Cardozo's run through the centre. He wins a corner for his side.
21' Qatar have had 64% of the ball so far. They've clearly been the more forward-thinking of the two sides, yet they're behind due to Miguel's early mistake.
20' It's another Qatar corner, down the right this time. Balbuena's the one to make the clearance.
18' Qatar are controlling this game but it's pleasantly open so far. Al Rawi overplays a pass to Khouhki out on the left. It bounces out for a Paraguay throw.
16' Qatar certainly look lively! They win another corner down their left. It's headed clear by Valdez but Hassan picks the ball up and delivers a wicked cross which Ali and Al Haydos both somehow conspire not to tap into the net!
14' Qatar win a corner after Hassan's cross from the left is blocked and put out by Perez. The delivery's at a comfortable height for Fernandez though.
13' Valdez heads a ball down to Dominguez whose shot from range goes wide. Paraguay look threatening on the counter-attack.
Assim Madibo
Yellow Card
Qatar
11' Madibo is first to see yellow as he cuts through Ortiz's standing leg with a late challenge. He might be a bit lucky it's just a yellow.
10' It's a feisty start here. Afif wins a free kick in his own half after he's brought down by Valdez.
8' Qatar are dictating the play at the moment as Paraguay are quite happy to drop off and let their Middle Eastern opponents pass it amongst themselves at the back. Miguel puts the ball out for a throw on the right after Paraguay counter-attack.
6' Hassan picks up a pass from Hatim and blazes a shot high and wide from range. Qatar don't seem too cowed by that early goal, and nor should they be.
5' What a moment that is for Cardozo. This is only his second Copa America after missing the last three editions in 2011, 2015 and 2016. He may be getting on in football terms but he still has plenty to offer.
O. Cardozo
Penalty Goal
Paraguay
4' GOAL! 1-0 PARAGUAY! 36-year-old veteran striker Oscar Cardozo steps up and buries the ball right down the middle past Al Sheeb in the Qatar goal.
2' PENALTY FOR PARAGUAY! What a start this is! Almiron takes the corner and Miguel blocks Valdez' header with his arm. The ref points straight to the spot!
2' An early chance for Paraguay as Almiron flashes a shot wide from the centre of the box! Khouhki puts it out for a corner. 
1' This first Group B match for both sides is underway!
The two sides enter the field - Paraguay in their unique white shirt with red stripes, Qatar in their fetching Man City-esque maroon.
Paraguay and Qatar have met three times before in history, with each side winning once and one draw. However, Paraguay have won only one of their last eight meetings with Asian countries, losing the last three. They will have to watch out for Ali, who was the top scorer at this year's Asian Cup with nine goals.
Paraguay make four changes from the side that beat Guatemala, as Balbuena, Valdez, Ortiz and Dominguez all come in. Qatar largely stick with the same XI that lost to Brazil, making only one change as 21-year-old defender Al Rawi comes in to replace Al Hajri.
SUBS: Tameem Mohammed, Ahmed Fathy, Ali Hassan Afif, Hamid Ismaeil, Yousef Hassan, Abdullah Al Ahrak, Karim Boudiaf, Almahdi Ali, Mohammed Al Bakri, Ahmed Al Aaeldin, Ahmad Moein, Salem Al Hajri.
QATAR (5-3-2): Saad Al Sheeb; Pedro Miguel, Abdelaziz Hatim, Boualem Khoukhi, Tarek Salman, Abdelkarim Hassan; Bassam Al Rawi, Assim Madibo, Hassan Al Haydos (c); Almoez Ali, Akram Afif.
SUBS: Richard Sanchez, Alfredo Aguilar, Derlis Gonzalez, Oscar Romero, Juan Iturbe, Antony Silva, Juan Escobar, Ivan Torres, Ivan Piris, Federico Santander, Matias Rojas.
PARAGUAY (4-3-3): Roberto Fernandez; Bruno Valdez, Fabian Balbuena, Junior Alonso, Santiago Arzamendia; Celso Ortiz, Rodrigo Rojas, Miguel Almiron; Hernan Perez, Oscar Cardozo, Cecilio Dominguez.
Qatar, meanwhile, won't be too disheartened by their defeat to Brazil last week, their first game since seven straight wins led them to become Asian champions earlier this year. Invitees to this competition for the very first time, a victory for Qatar here would be further proof that Felix Sanchez Bas' side are ready to start making their mark on the world stage.
Both of these two sides will enter their first match of this Copa America with optimism. Paraguay are making their 21st consecutive appearance in this competition and last week gained their first win under new boss Eduardo Berizzo, a 2-0 friendly victory over Guatemala. They'll be hoping they can improve on their last Copa America showing in 2016 which saw them crash out in the group stage.
Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of this Copa America Group B match between Paraguay and Qatar at Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro.