- Paraguay charge from 0-2 down to 3-2 winners against Argentina
- La Albirroja become last quarter-finalists of Brazil 2019
- The Netherlands next on 10 November
Diego Duarte’s 86th-minute winner put an exclamation point on a stirring comeback for Paraguay, who vanquished Argentina 3-2 on Thursday in the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™. Behind 0-2 at halftime, La Albirroja netted three times while shutting out their South American rivals in the second period. Paraguay will move ahead to the quarter-finals, where they are pitted against the Netherlands on 10 November in Vitoria.
The first half brought plenty of trouble for the Paraguayans, who struggled to keep Argentina’s playmakers under wraps. Exequiel Zeballos and Matias Godoy scored 15 minutes apart to give the South American champions what looked like an insurmountable lead three minutes from halftime. Then Paraguay came out of the locker room with an attacking fire unlike anything they had shown in the opening period. Substitute Matias Segovia’s energy forced Argentina’s own goal in the 58th minute. Fifteen minutes later, Diego Torres skilfully turned and fired from the top of the box to beat goalkeeper Rocco Rios. Duarte’s decider ticked the boxes of expert No9 play: he chased down a ball played over the top, outmuscled and turned his defender, then blasted a shot past the goalkeeper.
Argentina bested Paraguay 3-0 during this year’s South American Championship back in April, and for a time it looked as if La Albiceleste could be on their way to a similar result. Zeballos put his side in front with a far-post header in the 27th minute, speeding to connect with Luciano Vera’s service. Matias Godoy shook free of his marker to convert inside the box in the 42nd minute, doubling Argentina’s advantage. But when the Paraguay rally began during the second half, Argentina had no answer defensively. Rios did well to deny what could have been La Albirroja‘s fourth goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time. Stunned at the full time whistle, the Argentinians will have to keep waiting for their first FIFA U-17 World Cup title.
Netherlands-Paraguay (Vitoria/Cariacica, 16:30 local time)