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Key Events

O. Molinas
Yellow Card
Á. Pereira
Yellow Card
R. Santa Cruz
L. Barrios
S. Coates
Yellow Card
R. Ortiz
Yellow Card
D. González
R. Bobadilla
C. Rodríguez
C. Sánchez
R. Ortiz
N. Ortigoza
C. Stuani
A. Hernández
E. Benítez
Assist
L. Barrios
Goal
J. Giménez
Goal
C. Sánchez
Assist
N. Ortigoza
Yellow Card
A. Hernández
Yellow Card
2
3
3
3

Stats

Possession
% %
7
4
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 4 3
Total Passes 362 333

Commentary

I am Alex Moretto and I would like to thank you all for joining me here today. Good bye!
FULL TIME: URUGUAY 1-0 PARAGUAY. It was hardly the most thrilling of contest, but it's job done for both teams who leave having accomplished what they set out to do. La Celeste book their place in the knockout stage, and will more than likely be facing Chile in the quarter-finals, provided Argentina don't lose to Jamaica. For Paraguay, they assure themselves a top two finish in Group B, but will have to wait for results elsewhere over the weekend to find out their next opponent.
And that will do it, as the referee mercifully blows the full-time whistle.
GOOD SAVE! Paraguay muster their first attack in seemingly ages and it results in one of their better chances of the match. Derlis Gonzalez gets a shot off from the top of the area, and he's been their most threatening player since coming on, forcing a fine save from Muslera!
There will be three minutes added on at the end of the match here, as Uruguay continue to control possession without offering much in terms of an attack.
The right-back can't provide a good enough delivery from the ensuing set piece as Uruguay squander yet another opportunity. It's been well below par from them in attack today, with the lone goal being scored by the big Atletico Madrid centre-half. Cavani has been a complete non-factor.
Benitez comes across to try and help Piris deal with the threat of Maxi Pereira on the overlap, but he instead fouls the defender, awarding Uruguay with another chance from a set piece as they try and steal three points.
Has to be better! Stuani seemed a bit surprised as a searching ball found its way through to him atop the six-yard box, but he bounces a tame effort straight into the arms of Villar. That could well have been the chance for Uruguay to snatch a winner.
These teams drew both matches 1-1 in the qualifying phase for the 2014 World Cup, and it looks like we're headed for another one here. They're both very strong defensively, and this game has done about everything to confirm that fact.
O. Molinas
Yellow Card
Paraguay
Yellow card Osmar de la Cruz Molinas González Such a careless giveaway as Molinas makes a poor mistake in the worst area, before being forced into a cynical challenge to prevent Rolan from breaking through on goal.
This is awfully uninspired football from both teams, doing whatever they can to drag out this point to the final minute. The crowd has even been lulled to sleep here by the lack of action as we creep now into the final 10 minutes of the match.
Cristian Rodriguez is dispossessed near the halfway line and Derlis Gonzalez breaks on the counter. A clever change of pace sees him get behind the defence, but his searching ball in doesn't threaten Uruguay at all as Maxi Pereira is able to deal with it under little pressure.
STAT ATTACK: Uruguay’s 1-0 defeat against Argentina in their last match ended a run of five consecutive victories in the tournament, their longest run since it was renamed the Copa America in 1975.
Á. Pereira
Yellow Card
Uruguay
Yellow card Álvaro Daniel Pereira Barragán He's lucky not to be off! Derlis Gonzalez makes a probing run forward, cutting into the centre before the left-back sticks a leg out carelessly to take him to ground, with his studs clearly showing. That could have been much worse for Uruguay.
R. Santa Cruz
L. Barrios
Paraguay
Substitution Lucas Ramón Barrios Cáceres Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero Alas! Just what this game needed, another change! Perhaps the fresh legs of Santa Cruz can provide Paraguay with a bit of spark going forward.
S. Coates
Yellow Card
Uruguay
Yellow card Sebastián Coates Nión A hard collision in midfield earns the Sunderland centre-half a booking as he stands firm to hold his ground with Valdez sprinting through midfield. That looked painful for the both of them.
Not that there was much to lose, but the substitutions have taken every last bit of tempo out of the match. It will take something special - or very, very scrappy as is often the case in these types of matches - to break the deadlock in the last 20 minutes.
R. Ortiz
Yellow Card
Paraguay
Yellow card Richard Ortiz Busto
D. González
R. Bobadilla
Paraguay
Substitution Raúl Marcelo Bobadilla Derlis Alberto González Galeano Paraguay make their second change in for minutes, bringing on the dangerous youngster Derlis Gonzalez. He replaces Bobadilla, who has really struggled to make an impact playing in a deeper role today than he is used to.
C. Rodríguez
C. Sánchez
Uruguay
Substitution Carlos Andrés Sánchez Arcosa Cristian Gabriel Rodríguez Barrotti The Onion makes his entrance into the match. He had the lone goal for Uruguay coming into the match and he would love nothing more than to provide another here as he replaces Carlos Sanchez.
Good chance! Alvaro Pereira gets forward on the overlap, linking up with Rolan before delivering a lovely ball into the centre. Stuani beats Piris, in what is quite a mismatch in the air, but he bounces a header just wide of the far post.
R. Ortiz
N. Ortigoza
Paraguay
Substitution Néstor Ezequiel Ortigoza Richard Ortiz Busto That will do it for Ortigoza. The dead ball specialist seems to have strained his muscle as the cart comes out to carry him off the pitch. Richard Ortiz is the one to replace him, with 17 caps and four international goals to his name.
The only thing that would help this game is a goal. That would inevitably force the losing team to push forward in search of an equalizer, affording space to the opposition on the counter. Meanwhile, play comes to a halt yet again as Ortigoza pulls up lame, clutching his hamstring as he goes to ground.
Possession hasn't remained with one team for more than a few moments as everything is seeming to fizzle out in midfield. The pitch seems so congested, with both sides focused on keeping their shape and smothering the opposition as they look to get forward.
Arevalo plays Rolan through on the left, twice, with men waiting in the centre. Both times the Bordeaux man fails to provide a good enough cross in, however, as Paraguay easily clear their lines.
Neither side cares to commit many men forward in attack, instead siting back to defend this draw, only looking to hit back on the counter. Chances have been few and far between from open play in this match and with too much to lose with a defeat, we can likely expect this trend to continue.
Wide from Cavani! That's one of the few times we've see him involved in attack. He gets on the end of a cross, but it's at an awkward height as he's forced to crouch to meet it, heading wide of the near post.
STAT ATTACK: Uruguay have scored more against Paraguay in the Copa America than against any of the other teams in Group B – 53 goals, averaging 2.1 per match.
Maxi Pereira accidentally deflects a pass into open space on the flank, allwoing Barrois to chase. The ex-Dortmund man gets on the end of it, with Valdez waiting in the centre. Gimenez does well to get across, however, blanketing the striker and forcing him to run the ball out for a throw.
Things certainly haven't picked up where they left off at the end of the first half, as the tempo once again slows to a snail's pace. Paraguay are through regardless, but a draw would cement their place in the top two while also sending Uruguay into the knockout stages.
Here we go again! One change at the break as Espanyol forward Christian Stuani replaces Abel Hernandez.
C. Stuani
A. Hernández
Uruguay
Substitution Abel Mathías Hernández Platero Cristhian Ricardo Stuani Curbelo
The players are making their way back out onto the pitch with the second half just moments away.
HALF TIME: URUGUAY 1-1 PARAGUAY. After a tedious and hesitant first 25 minutes, the game sprung to life by virtue of the set piece. Gimenez and Barrios have us level at the break off a pair of corners, when it was looking like we would go the entirety of the match without as much as a shot on target!
There will be just one minute of time added on at the end of this first half.
E. Benítez
Assist
Paraguay
Assist Edgar Milciades Benítez Santander
L. Barrios
Goal
Paraguay
Goal Lucas Ramón Barrios Cáceres ANOTHER SET PIECE, ANOTHER GOAL! This time it comes at the other end! Paraguay win a corner out of nothing and from the ensuing set piece, Barrios simply outmuscles Gimenez before thumping a header into the top corner.
It's all Uruguay now. The pressure has subsided a bit, but they are controlling the midfield battle and holding the bulk of possession. Paraguay need to do a better job of transitioning into the final third and giving the likes of Valdez and Barrios a chance at an equalizer.
STAT ATTACK: Paraguay have kept just once clean sheet in their final game of the group stage at the Copa America, in the last 21 editions of the tournament (W8, D5, L8). Make that 22 now.
SHOULD BE TWO! Gimenez again gets on the end of a corner, shedding his marker, but his header is saved brilliantly by Villar! The pressure stays on as Rolan's shot is scuffed into the path of Cavani, who pokes an effort inches wide with the goal at his mercy.
It's springing to life now! Piris is the one being picked on for Paraguay, as Maxi Pereira and Carlos Sanchez continue to link-up well on the right flank. They're causing all sorts of trouble for the left-back who desperately needs support from Molinas.
Another letoff! Ortigoza stands over a free kick atop the area, just to the left of goal. He tries to drive an effort through, likely hoping for a deflection, but amidst the mess of bodies a Uruguay defender is able to safely guide it behind for a corner.
Important clearance! Bobadilla takes a long throw for Paraguay and the ball bounces around in the penalty area, dangerously, but Gimenez makes his presence felt at the other end as he prevents Barrios from turning before clearing the ball to safety.
Hopefully the goal will help open things up now. Uruguay seem to have some life to them as well, as Maxi Pereira makes a good run down the right before delivering an inviting ball in. It's knocked behind by Bruno Valdez, but the linesman instead awards a goal kick to Paraguay.
J. Giménez
Goal
Uruguay
Goal José María Giménez de Vargas THE DEADLOCK IS BROKEN! It's from a set piece and you would expect nothing else the way this game has been played through the first 30 minutes. Tremendous leap from Gimenez to head an unstoppable effort past Justo Villar.
C. Sánchez
Assist
Uruguay
Assist Carlos Andrés Sánchez Arcosa
Lodeiro has provided most of the creativity and spark for Uruguay from midfield in this tournament, and it seems like his absence has really hurt La Celeste today. They've struggled to generate any sort of momentum in attack and the lack of service for Cavani has to be a concern for them. He's a great finisher, but isn't able to generate his own chances like Luis Suarez has the innate ability to do.
There has been no flow to this match whatsoever. It has been choppy and uneasy on the eyes. With a draw enough to send both teams to the knockout stage, you have to wonder if it will indeed carry on this way.
STAT ATTACK: Uruguay have won their final group match at the Copa America just once in the last eight editions of the tournament (D2, L5).
Uruguay seem to be lacking any sort of creativity and inspiration in attack. They've been relegated to playing balls over the top for Cavani and Hernandez, but the striker's have had little success getting on the end of them. The PSG-man has hardly been involved through 20 minutes.
Wasted opportunity! Ortigoza's delivery from the ensuing set piece is very poor as it's struck with far too much power, sailing behind for a goal kick.
Ivan Piris puts in some excellent work in attack, getting forward on the overlap before winning Paraguay a free kick near the byline, on the edge of the area.
Tremendous ball from Ortigoza to pick out Nelson Valdez, but Jose Gimenez strides over and makes a good defensive play to sniff out the chance. Paraguay are starting to find their legs it would seem.
SHOCKING MISS! Bruno Valdez does well to win a header off a corner, sending the ball back across goal for Nelson Valdez, but he can't direct his effort on target from inside the six-yard box, sending it inches wide of the far corner.
The lone attacking presence in this match has come from set pieces thus far. Ther has been very little of note going forward, as these sides defend valiantly, hardly eager to concede the first goal.
N. Ortigoza
Yellow Card
Paraguay
Yellow card Néstor Ezequiel Ortigoza Quite the cagey opening to this match! Two of the more physical sides in the tournament are living up to their name early on. Arevalo Rios makes a clever turn in midfield, earning a free kick as Ortigoza sticks a leg out to cynically stop the run from being made.
STAT ATTACK: Uruguay are unbeaten in the last four head-to-head matches (W2, D2). Paraguay last beat La Celeste at home in a World Cup qualifier in 2007.
Nestor Ortigoza delivers a beautiful, flat free kick into the area from the ensuing set piece, but after being flicked on towards the near post, the final effort on goal isn't enough to trouble Muslera.
A. Hernández
Yellow Card
Uruguay
Yellow card Abel Mathías Hernández Platero It takes less than five minutes for the first booking to be shown, and it's the Hull City striker who gets it. It's a real late challenge from Hernandez as he slides dangerously into the feet of Paulo da Silva who looks a bit worse for wear here.
Slow start to the match here as the two sides feel eachother out. The ball has been contained largely in midfield here in the opening stages with neither team able to venture forward and attack.
And we're off! Paraguay in red and white, Uruguay in light blue.
A very different Los Guaranies side will take the pitch today as coach Ramon Diaz has made six changes to his starting lineup, so try and keep up as I take you through them. Justo Villar replaces Antony Silva in goal. Marcos Caceres and Ivan Piris slot in as wing-backs, in place of Pablo Aguilar and Miguel Samudio. Captain Victor Caceres is also dropped to the bench, with Osmar Molinas slotting into midfield. Nelson Valdez comes back into the starting lineup, with Raul Bobadilla dropping from striker to the wing, pushing Derlis Gonzalez to the bench. And finally, Lucas Barrios gets the call ahead of Roque Santa Cruz.
Diego Godin is a big loss for La Celeste, as the skipper is forced to miss out due to suspension. On in his place is Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates, who has more than 70 fewer caps to his name. That's just one of three changes made by coach Oscar Tabarez, who has also moved playmakers Cristian Rodriguez and Nicolas Lodeiro to the bench, with Carlos Sanchez back in the lineup and Abel Hernandez earning his first start of the tournament, partnering Edinson Cavani up top.
PARAGUAY SUBS: Santa Cruz, Martinez, Balbuena, Romero, Aranda, A. Aguilar, Silva, P. Aguilar, V. Caceres, Gonzalez, Ortiz.
URUGUAY SUBS: Fucile, De Arrascaeta, Stuani, Munoz, G. Silva, Lodeiro, G. Pereira, Corujo, J. Rodriguez, M. Silva, C. Rodriguez.
PARAGUAY (4-4-2): Villar; Caceres, Da Silva, B. Valdez, Piris; Bobadilla, Ortigoza, Benitez, Molinas; N. Valdez, Barrios.
URUGUAY (4-4-2): Muslera; M. Pereira, Gimenez, Coates, A. Pereira; Sanchez, Gonzalez, Arevalo, Rolan; Hernandez, Cavani.
Alright, enough talk of what ifs, let's look at the team's for today's contest...
Paraguay would secure a top two finish in Group B with as little as a draw, and could secure top spot provided they match or better Argentina’s result later this evening. And the difference between first and second would be significant, as it could well mean a date with Peru or Venezuela as opposed to Brazil or Colombia – although at this point any order of finish in Group C tomorrow wouldn’t come as much of a shock.
Plain and simple, Uruguay have to win this match. The permutations suggest otherwise, and they would still secure their place in the knockout stage with a draw or a defeat by just a single goal. But only a victory would assure them a finish in the top half of the group. Otherwise they will be staring down a third-place finish and a date with Chile in the quarter-finals at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago.
How’s this for a rematch? Paraguay and Uruguay meet with plenty at stake in their Group B decider, just four years removed from their date in the final – only this time the defending champions don’t have Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan to lean on. The stage is set at the Estadio La Portada with revenge, bragging rights and a place in the quarter-finals on the line. I am Alex Moretto and I will be your scribe for the evening, guiding you through all the action in La Serena.
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