Football: Paraguay coach's red-herring tactics

PARAGUAY HAD expected home advantage would help them present a convincing challenge for a third Copa America title. Instead they were jeered off the field by a 40,000 crowd after their goalless stalemate against Bolivia in Asuncion. And while the hosts where floundering, the surprise guests from Asia, Japan, were giving Peru an early fright before they capitulated 3-2 on Tuesday.

The root of the Paraguayans' lacklustre opening display may yet be blamed on the fish-only diet forced on the players by Ever Almeida.

The national coach certainly did little to enhance his standing when he took off Nelson Cuevas and Hugo Ovelar, two of his most creative players, at half-time. He further angered the crowd when he replaced the 17-year- old striker Roque Santa Cruz, the great hope of Paraguayan football, midway through the second half.

"We did everything well until we got to the last 20 metres of the field," said Almeida, whose team's next game is against Japan tomorrow.

Earlier, Peru had kicked off the competition with a far more competitive game against Japan, themselves no strangers to a seafood diet, who have been invited to take part by the South American Football Confederation.

The Asians scored the first goal of the tournament when the Brazilian- born striker Wagner Lopes headed in at the near post following a free- kick in the seventh minute. They held out against Peruvian dominance until the 71st minute when Jorge Soto scored from a narrow angle.

Three more goals followed in the next 11 minutes. Roberto Holsen put the skilful Peruvians in front, Atsuhira Miura equalised from a free-kick and Holsen then scored the winner, finishing off an excellent move involving Nolberto Solano, of Newcastle United, and Flavio Maestri.

The tournament continued late last night with the Group B games between the champions, Brazil, and Venezuela, preceded by the meeting of Mexico and Chile.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's leading stem cell comp...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Administrator

£19000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ope...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Counter Sales Assistant

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Driver / Warehouse Operative

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works