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United States v Paraguay Live Commentary, 12/06/2016

1 - 0
C. Dempsey (27)
Lincoln Financial Field


Thanks for joining me and have a great night!
Regardless of where they finish in Group A, the hosts will be delighted to be in the last eight. For Paraguay, elimination will come as a huge disappointment.
FULL-TIME - USA 1-0 Paraguay: It was a pivotal match for both nations, but it is the hosts who have come out on top in Philadelphia. Dempsey gave USA a deserved first-half lead and, despite the loss of Yedlin to a pair of yellow cards in the space of one minute, they held on for three points! They move top of the group, but Colombia can regain their position with just a point against Costa Rica tonight.
Gonzalez goes on a marauding run from the right but ends up running straight into the USA defence and dropping to ground. He claims for a foul, but he was looking for that one. USA are just one minute away from a crucial win!
Paraguay are still lacking that killer touch in the final third. USA are more willing to break, but a goal is of the utmost importance for Diaz's team - two goals, in fact.
Lezcano surges into the box and attempts to feed a diagonal pass into Gomez, but the stretching defender is unable to make contact and steer it on target.
We are going to have a minimum of six - yes, six - minutes of added time here! Don't go anywhere!
Johnson has a shot deflected wide, but it hands USA a chance to wind down the clock near the corner flag. They are just a few minutes away from the last eight!
IT'S IN! But it's offside! Ayala's delivery from the right is tucked home by Rojas, but he was in an offside position when the ball came in - and from the subsequent flick-on.
J. Jones
Yellow Card
United States
Jones is the latest player to be shown a yellow card after chopping down Iturbe on the left wing.
That was close! Beckerman tries to put the game to bed with a 25-yard drive after dribbling inside onto his left foot. His shot arrows over the top and Villar gets play started again as quickly as he can.
Beckerman fells Samudio and Ayala stands over another set-piece. He wastes it again, curling a shot over the top-left corner without worrying Guzan in the slightest.
K. Beckerman
B. Wood
United States
More midfield reinforcements for USA, with Wood sacrificed for Beckerman.
PHENOMENAL FROM GUZAN! Almiron surges into the box and offloads to Benitez on his left. The forward manages to ride a pair of challenges and drill a low shot towards goal that the USA goalkeeper blocks. Guzan then reacts instinctively to deny Almiron form the follow-up! Sensation stuff!
Iturbe shows some nifty footwork on the left, shifting the ball onto his left and sending in a cross beyond Orozco. Lezcano rises to meet it at the back post but his header is directed high and wide.
M. Orozco
Yellow Card
United States
It's another yellow card. Orozco is the player disciplined after hauling back Benitez, stopping Paraguay from launching a break.
V. Ayala
Yellow Card
Ayala is the latest player to go into the referee's book following his foul on Zardes.
The minutes are ticking away for Paraguay, but it will feel like they are dragging for USA. Klinsmann is urging his team to get forward but they do not want to expose themselves.
G. Zusi
A. Bedoya
United States
Some fresh legs in the USA midfield, with Zusi on for Bedoya.
That lack of creativity is still glaringly evident for Paraguay. Of course, it's hard to break down a 10-man side desperate to hold onto their advantage, but an aimless scoop over the defence from Almiron is nowhere near one of his team-mates.
B. Wood
Yellow Card
United States
Wood reacts by getting to his feet and shoving Rojas, earning himself a booking.
R. Rojas
Yellow Card
Rojas is shown a yellow card for his lunge on Wood having gone through the player to get the ball.
Frustrations are mounting for USA. Wood is dispossessed by a clean tackle from Samudio but remonstrates with the referee, who lets play continue. Paraguay need a goal soon if they are to have a chance at making the quarter-finals.
It seems to be a calf issue for the official, Julio Buscunan, who gets a massage from some team medics. Play finally gets back underway with Jones sending possession back to La Albirroja.
The referee is getting treatment having seemingly picked up an injury. It comes a few moments after Bradley and Wood confronting him about the decision not to award the latter a free-kick.
USA are penned back inside their own final third now. Paraguay are unsuccesfully firing crosses into the box, though, with no one making moves to attack them.
SO CLOSE! Ayala showed his quality from distance with his goal against Colombia and he tries his luck from 25 yards here. His low, cross-goal shot skids beyond the far post, though!
J. Benítez
A. Sanabria
A disappointing night for Sanabria, who is replaced by Benitez.
THAT HAD TO BE THE SECOND! Wood launches a rapid break, holding the ball before releasing Zardes at the perfect moment. Rather than shoot the LA Galaxy forward attempts to round Villar, but he's caught in possession and the chance goes begging with Da Silva making the recovering tackle.
Paraguay are controlling possession now, with USA placing everyone behind the ball and inside their own half. La Albirroja's problem in the first half was a lack of ingenuity, and they will need to solve that in the final half an hour if they want to try and find the win. It could be hard with more bodies to break through now.
M. Bradley
Yellow Card
United States
Bradley is booked for dissent after the referee gives Paraguay another free-kick inside the USA half, this time Bedoya is guilty of the foul.
Johnson cedes possesion to Iturbe cheaply and then commits a foul while trying to win it back. Ayala pings the ball into the box from the ensuing set-piece, but once more it's welcomed calmly by Guzan's gloves.
R. Rojas
C. Ortiz
Ortiz makes way for Rojas now. Paraguay are going to try and take this game by the scruff of the neck now.
JUST WIDE! Gonzalez lets fly from in excess of 25 yards, with a low right-footed shot that bounces in front of Guzan. It's out of reach of the goalkeeper but also beyond the post, resulting in a goal-kick.
That is a huge blow for USA. They had been the better side up until that point, btu Yedlin's minute of madness has handed Paraguay a huge boost in their quest for qualification.
M. Orozco
C. Dempsey
United States
Dempsey is the man sacrificed by Klinsmann, with Orozco sent on in his place.
AND NOW HE'S OFF! Yedlin picks up a second yellow card within the space of a minute, scything down Samudio on the left! That was so reckless!
D. Yedlin
Yellow Card
United States
Yedlin goes into the book following his challenge on Almiron. He can't believe the decision, doing a 360 degree turn in protest!
J. Iturbe
F. Balbuena
There's been an attacking change from Diaz at the break, with Balbuena replaced by Iturbe.
Paraguay get the second half underway.
Welcome back! The teams have returned to the pitch in Philadelphia and the second half will begin in a few moments.
HALF-TIME - USA 1-0 Paraguay: Dempsey's goal is the difference at the interval, and he has been the key man in a solid first half from Klinsmann's team. They've looked a more potent threat in the final third with quicker passing, while Lezcano is the only Albirroja to look capable of scoring. The forward has been denied twice by Guzan, though, and his team go into the break trailing. As it stands USA are heading through and Paraguay are going out! Stay tuned for the second half.
A short corner ends up being floated behind by Bradley, and the half-time whistle is subsequently sounded!
A minimum of one minute of added time will be played.
GREAT SAVE! Sanabria stabs a brilliant pass in behind the defence for the run of Lezcano. The striker carries it closer to the goal but ends up prodding his effort onto the foot of the onrushing Guzan!
Wood is found in space on the left-hand side of the box and tries to cut in onto his right foot. The loss of pace enables the recovering Da Silva to stick a foot in and put the ball out for a corner.
Samudio has gone down holding his face having been brushed by the elbow of Yedlin, but the referee signals for play to continue. The left-back eventually gets back to his feet amid boos from the stands. He probably won't try that again.
Villar claims a cross and quickly rolls the ball out. Almiron and Lezcano attempt to forge something on the counter-attack but they can only earn a free-kick.
The game has gone a little bit stale as we approach half-time. USA are the team looking to play on the break now, as they try to hold their lead until half-time. Paraguay are lacking invention in possession.
Ayala sends a powerful drive swirling over the top of the bar. He makes a claim for a corner following a slight touch of Jones, and Guzan protests. The officials settle on a goal-kick, and, after a bit of moaning from the Paraguayan, play resumes from there.
Paraguay have reached at least the quarter-finals in each edition since 2004, but as it stands they are heading out of the competition at the group stage this year.
Gonzalez has been very quiet tonight, and his first contribution to the attack is a poorly hit shot that rolls straight into the grasp of Guzan. He ought to have done better there, and he's certainly capable of it on his day.
Brilliant from Lezcano! A couple of brilliant touches enable him to bring the ball down and race away from his marker, but Brooks is there covering to make the all important intervention.
Ayala's delivery from the right is met by Balbuena, who loops a header harmlessly over the top.
Samudi ogoes for goal directly from the set-piece, but his effort clips the wall and flies behind for a corner.
But Paraguay have a free-kick in a great position no, following Wood's block on Ayala. The Albirroja midfielder certainly made the most of that, but it was enough to convince the official to blow his whistle!
G. Zardes
United States
Da Silva is unable to cope with Zardes' pace on the left wing, and the LA Galaxy forward pulls a pass back into a great area for Dempsey to arrive onto and guide home!
C. Dempsey
United States
GOOOOOOAAAL! DEMPSEY GIVES USA THE LEAD! He's been gradually becoming more threatening and he drills low to Villar's left from Zardes' cutback, with the hosts putting one foot into the quarter-finals.
Paraguay are playing a far more patient game when in possession. They are happy to work the ball from side to side, involving the centre-backs. They seem more of a threat without the ball, as it offers them the chance to break at pace.
DEMPSEY! Too high! He tries to bend it with power into the top-right corner on the keeper's side, but there is too much elevation on the effort and Villar is let off the hook.
Free-kick in a great area for USA! Dempsey skips away from Da Silva, who appears to catch the ball with his arm while sliding in. The hosts have a free-kick just outside the D, slightly left of centre.
USA look like they're starting to find their rhythm in the final third, and Dempsey is pulling the strings. He shifts away from his marker and feeds Yedlin, who loses the ball after cutting in from the right. It's all positive movement, though, and the passing is slick at points.
That was a lovely little move from USA. Johnson pushes high and cuts inside, combining with Dempsey before the latter finds Zardes. It's worked back to the former Fulham man but the momentum is lost and the play breaks down. Paraguay instantly hit back and Lezcano has a header from an acute angle turned behind by Guzan!
Zardes shows good pace to get away from Gonzalez as he surges into the Paraguay half but his offload is intercepted. Diaz's team look to mount a break but Lezcano's cross from the left it cut out.
Lezcano has been lively on the left and is causing the USA defence a number of problems. He is fouled yet again, and Ayala has another chance to send a free-kick into the box. Guzan comes out and punches it clear this time.
C. Ortiz
Yellow Card
It's been a very scrappy game so far. Ortiz picks up a yellow card for hauling back Zardes as the USA forward looked to break forward from the halfway line.
Brooks finds himself with three Paraguay players bearing down on him, but he stays cool and follows the ball for Almiron to his right. He slides in brilliantly and sends it out for a corner, his team-mates given him a huge slap on the back for that. Great defending!
USA win possession in midfield and attack through Zardes on the right. His cross is punched away by Villar, though, and Paraguay break...
Dempsey pulls the trigger for the first time tonight, but a rather tame effort from 25 yards rolls beyond the left-hand post.
Ayala is forced to wait while the referee talks to Gomez inside the penalty area. When the delivery does come in it's a disappointment, with Guzan coming form his line to claim unchallenged.
Lezcano charges down the left and, somehow, draws a foul from Cameron. That's very generous of the referee. Contact was minimal and he seemed do go down while spinning to get his pass away.
A decent strike with the right foot from Johnson, hit with plenty of pace and on target, but it's straight at Villar who holds at the first attempt.
We have already have a number of early free-kicks given away, and Gomez sends Dempsey tumbling 25 yards from his Villar's goal. Johnson is lining this one up...
Bradley floats the set-piece towards the back post but none of his team-mates are able to get close enough to make contact with it, leaving the ball to drift out of play for a goal-kick.
A Paraguay free-kick is recovered by USA in their own box and Johnson launches them on a counter-attack. He plays the ball out to the left but is sent to ground, and the referee pulls play back for the foul.
USA get the ball rolling!
The anthems are over and we will be underway in just a few moments!
The chants of "USA" are already ringing out before the national anthems have even begun!
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch now, so kick-off will be upon us in a few short moments.
USA ended a run of six straight defeats in the competition by beating Costa Rica 4-0 last time out. Dempsey scored his 50th international goal in that match and will be eager to add to his tally.
USA and Paraguay have met just once before in the Copa America. It was back in Venezuela in 2007, and La Albirroja came out on top in a 3-1 win. Replicating that result in Philadelphia tonight would delight Diaz, but they'll no doubt have the crowd against them.
Paraguay (4-4-2): Villar; Balbuena, Gomez, Da Silva, Gomez, Samudio; Gonzalez, Ayala, Ortiz, Almiron; Sanabria, Lezcano.
USA (4-3-3): Guzan; Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Johnson; Bedoya, Bradley, Jones; Zardes, Dempsey, Wood.
TEAM NEWS: USA coach Klinsmann has named an unchanged side for the third successive match. Paraguay make four changes, with Oscar Romero suspended and Edgar Benitez struggling with a muscular issue, though he is on the bench. Antonio Sanabria and Derlis Gonzalez are their replacements, while Fabian Balbuena comes in for Bruno Valdez at right-back and Victor Ayala is picked ahead of Ivan Piris following his goal against Colombia.
Paraguay, meanwhile, have to win. Nothing else will keep their campaign alive. It’s something La Albirroja have struggled to do in recent editions, however. Although they made it to the final in 2011 and the semi-finals in 2015, they have won just one of their last 16 Copa America matches. Ramon Diaz's team must improve upon that tonight.
USA should be able to guarantee qualification with a point, as that would leave Costa Rica requiring a win by at least six goals against group leaders Colombia in order to beat them to second place. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann insisted he won't be playing for a draw, though, and will be going for the victory to make sure of a place in the quarter-finals.
It's crunch time for the United States and Paraguay in their Copa America Centenario campaigns. It is almost nailed on that one of these two sides will be eliminated in this, their final Group A match at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Welcome to tonight's live coverage of what will be a tense and hopefully exciting encounter!