Paraguay have made sure the Copa America will give us another chance to experience the “Guay Derby” as they take on Uruguay on Sunday night. Their passage to the final has been anything but plain sailing though. The semi-final with Venezuela illustrated this fact yet again.
Paraguay made it five out of five by overcoming their opponents. We’re not talking about wins though. They’ve gone the entire tournament not having won a match. If they win the final by way of a penalty shootout, it will be one of the most remarkable victories in the history of the sport. Just think of the pre-tournament odds?!
The match with Venezuela included the customary Paraguay red card for which they’ve also become known. Then the shootout victory featuring a 100% success rate. That was new, as was post-match brawl that evokes the spirit of “booze Britain” on a weekend. The grainy footage that you can see below did scream-out for a soundtrack featuring Drowning Pool’s Bodies.
Earlier in the tournament, they had drawn 3-3 with their semi-final opponents and it was that same group stage that they narrowly qualified from. They were the second-best third-placed nation by virtue of goal difference over Costa Rica. Compared to Venezuela, their final opponents are another proposition altogether.
Uruguay, led from the front by Luis Suarez, is also yet to lose a game. Thankfully they haven’t just drawn every single game. On that premise, Uruguay would be worthy South American champions. Although those fans of vigorous defensive-minded tactics – myself included – will be crying out for a Paraguayan victory. Lest we not forget the bout of heroic hilarity that Suarez gave us in last summer’s World Cup though. He’ll have to produce something special to top that here.
With these two responsible for the exit of the two pre-tournament favorites, Argentina and Brazil, we should expect an entertaining game. Paraguay choking the life out of the proceedings is just as likely.