Paraguay 0 – Ecuador 0: Halftime

Paraguay got the better of a sluggish and nervy Ecuadorean team in the first half of this evening’s Copa America match but couldn’t find a way to open the scoring. Paraguay’s Marcelo Estigarribia, making a surprise start in place of striker Nelson Haedo Valdez, was particularly impressive. His pace and dribbling ability gave the Ecuadorean back-line fits.

Paraguay's speedy Marcelo Estigarribia in international action. The talented attacker, who plays for Newell's Old Boys in Argentina, looks set to have an excellent tournament.

As the half wore on, Ecuador woke up and began to threaten Paraguay’s goal. Chucho Benitez should have scored but a well-timed sliding challenge from a Paraguayan defender sent the ball out for a corner-kick. Later, Segundo Castillo’s powerful low shot from distance flashed just wide of ‘keeper Villar’s right-hand post.

In the 38th minute, Paraguay’s midfielder Edgar Baretto was taken off injured and replaced by Enrique Vera.

Not a bad match so far. I think each team will get a goal in the second half.

Prediction: Paraguay 1 – Ecuador 1

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About Nicholas Nehamas

Journalist and soccer fan. I write on politics, culture, business and sports.
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