- Paraguay bounce back to surprise Italy 2-1
- La Albirrojita finish first in Group F
- Sets up Paraguay-Argentina, Italy-Ecuador in Round of 16
Junior Quinonez’s headed goal in the 52nd minute earned Paraguay a 2-1 triumph over Italy in Brasilia on Sunday at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™. Falling behind only three minutes into their Group F finale, La Albirrojita climbed back into the match with goals in either half, then defended furiously to cement a first-place finish in the group with seven points. Italy fell to second place, and both sides will contest their last-16 ties on 7 November in Vitoria.
With their place in the knockout phase already secure, head coach Carmine Nunziata opted for nine changes to the lineup that defeated Mexico on Thursday. Lorenzo Pirola scored with his head three minutes from the starting whistle, and the Italians were in command for the opening half-hour. But Paraguay were able to wrestle control away from Gli Azzurrini, and their resulting defeat means they’ll take on Ecuador next.
Shaken by Italy’s quick goal, it took Paraguay time to find stability in the opening period. Slowly their muscular midfield began to win more battles, and by the end of the first half they were on the front foot. In the 37th minute, Diego Duarte netted his second goal of Brazil 2019 to equalise. Later Quinonez, the tallest player on the pitch, rose to connect with Fabrizio Peralta’s corner-kick service and directed a looping header into the net from 15 yards. As group winners, Paraguay will square off with South American neighbors Argentina on Thursday 7 November.
Round of 16
Ecuador-Italy (7 November, Vitoria/Cariacica, 16:30 local time)
Paraguay-Argentina (7 November, Vitoria/Cariacica, 20:00 local time)