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.
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