Paraguay 3-1 Bolivia: La Albirroja rally to victory in Copa America opener

By Sports Desk June 14, 2021

Angel Romero scored twice as Paraguay produced a second-half comeback to claim a 3-1 win over a depleted 10-man Bolivia in their opening game at the Copa America.

La Albirroja were favoured to see off Bolivia, who were without three players – including captain and talisman Marcelo Martins after testing positive for coronavirus.

Bolivia, who have only progressed beyond the Copa America group stage once since finishing runners-up in 1997, took a shock early lead from Erwin Saavedra's 10th-minute penalty on Monday.

Paraguay piled on the pressure for no reward in the first half, before Bolivia were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time following Jaume Cuellar's second booking in Goiania, Goias.

The weight of pressure told in the second half as Alejandro Romero levelled before Paraguay team-mate Angel Romero scored a brace to seal the win.

Paraguay flew out of the blocks as Santiago Arzamendia forced an acrobatic save from Bolivia goalkeeper Ruben Cordano inside the first minute, with Angel Romero flashing wide from the ensuing corner.

But Bolivia took the lead, albeit after a lengthy delay as referee Diego Haro consulted VAR, when Diego Bejarano's goal-bound volley hit Arzamendia's outstretched arm, with Saavedra converting from the spot.

Paraguay thought they had the chance to draw level when Haro pointed to the spot again after Cordano hacked down Gabriel Avalos inside the box, but again, La Albirroja were denied by the VAR after another long delay as Romero was offside in the build-up.

Alejandro Romero inexplicably pushed wide from close range in the 43rd minute, before Bolivia teenager Cuellar saw red for a second bookable offence.

Paraguay kept up the pressure after the break, with Alejandro Romero hitting the woodwork, though he equalised via an excellent 62nd-minute volley from outside the box.

Minutes later Paraguay were ahead, with Cordano unable to hold substitute Carlos Gonzalez's header and Angel Romero swooping to force home the loose ball.

Paraguay keeper Antony Silva had to be alert to a 78th-minute Roberto Fernandez strike, before Angel Romero netted his second, slotting home from Avalos' pass.

Related items

  • 'I would vote for Erling' – Dortmund coach Rose on Haaland's Ballon d'Or nomination 'I would vote for Erling' – Dortmund coach Rose on Haaland's Ballon d'Or nomination

    Marco Rose believes Erling Haaland deserves his Ballon D'Or nomination, with the Borussia Dortmund head coach insisting he would vote for the "extraordinary" star.

    Haaland is among the 2021 Ballon d'Or nominees following his exploits for Bundesliga side Dortmund.

    The in-demand 21-year-old forward scored 41 goals in as many appearances over 2020-21 – including 27 from 28 in the Bundesliga as he was named the league's player of the season.

    Haaland – linked with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona – has 24 goals for Dortmund in just 25 games across this calendar year.

    As Dortmund prepare for Tuesday's Champions League fixture against Eredivisie giants Ajax, Rose hailed the Norway international.

    "When Jule [Julian Brandt] says that he was better at headers," Rose told reporters. "Then you know exactly which huge step he [Haaland] has made forward in the last months but yes, it’s for sure something where he has made a great development.

    "We are a little bit biased because Erling is our player and we always support our players. What he does is extraordinary. He is nominated and deserves it... If you see his experienced competitors who have more years of experience already then it’s just beautiful to have such a young player at this level.

    "I think that Erling can win great individual titles in the next [few] years when he stays healthy but the beautiful thing about him is that he cares more about the team titles. That's the most important [aspect]. But if I could take a vote [in the Ballon D'Or], I would vote for Erling."

    Haaland has scored nine goals in nine away Champions League appearances so far – a goal in this game will see him become the fastest player to score 10 away goals in the competition, breaking the record of 12 games set by Mario Gomez in February 2011 and Kylian Mbappe in February 2019.

    Dortmund have won their last two major European matches in the Netherlands, winning 3-1 against PSV in October 2002 and 4-1 against Ajax in November 2012, both in the Champions League. Their last defeat on Dutch soil was in the 2002 UEFA Cup final, a 3-2 defeat in Rotterdam against Feyenoord under Matthias Sammer.

    Meanwhile, Dortmund have won four of their last five away Champions League matches (L1) – more than they had in their previous 15 on the road (W3 D2 L10).

  • Jamaica sprint queens conferred with sixth-highest national award Jamaica sprint queens conferred with sixth-highest national award

    Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman and alive, said she will use the inspiration of being conferred with the Order of Distinction to help motivate women and young girls to strive without limits.

    Thompson-Herah, who rebounded from five years of disappointment, to become the first woman to win both 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympic Games at the Tokyo Games in August, was among several sports personalities to receive national honours at the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on Monday.

    Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 on Usain Bolt’s birthday, August 21, 2021, to become the fastest woman alive and the second-fastest of all time at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, said the recognition has motivated her to inspire others.

    “I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world, powerful women from my island home Jamaica,” she said on Instagram.

    “I feel so honoured and overjoyed to be given this Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by my nation. I now use this classification to help motivate and uplift women and young girls to strive without limits.”

    The five-time Olympic gold medalist was among three Jamaican sprint queens to be conferred with OD’s in the Commander Class. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medalist in Tokyo, and Jackie Pusey, who at 16, represented Jamaica at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada were also awarded.

    Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

    The late Jamaican striker, Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s leading male scorer, was posthumously awarded the OD (Officer Class) for his contribution to football.  Shelton died in January 2021 from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    He played for Jamaica on 75 occasions scoring 35 goals.

    Meanwhile, Dr Praimanand Mongal Beharry Singh received the Order of Distinction for outstanding dedication and service to the field of sports.

  • UEFA hits England with €100,000 fine and stadium ban for Euro 2020 final incidents UEFA hits England with €100,000 fine and stadium ban for Euro 2020 final incidents

    England have been hit with a two-game stadium ban – one of which is deferred for two years – as punishment for the crowd trouble inside and outside Wembley Stadium during their Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

    July's clash, which Italy won on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time, was overshadowed by serious disturbances as ticketless supporters fought with stewards in an attempt to enter the stadium.

    UEFA opened an investigation into the matter in August and announced on Monday that England must play their next match in UEFA competition behind closed doors, which is expected to be their opening 2022-23 Nations League game.

    The Three Lions have also been fined £84,500 (€100,000) for the fans' disorder, which also included invading the pitch, throwing objects and jeering during Italy's national anthem.

    "Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledge the outcome," England's Football Association said in a statement on Monday.

    "We condemn the terrible behaviour of the individuals who caused the disgraceful scenes in and around Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final, and we deeply regret that some of them were able to enter the stadium.

    "We are determined that this can never be repeated, so we have commissioned an independent review, led by Baroness Casey, to report on the circumstances involved.

    "We continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to take action against those responsible and hold them to account."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.