Paraguay

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Brazil needs penalty kicks to oust 10-man Paraguay (video)

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Alisson Becker was the hero in penalty kicks after hosts Brazil failed to break down 10-man Paraguay at the Copa America on Thursday.

Paraguay eliminated Brazil from the 2011 and 2015 editions of the tournament in penalty kicks.

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Brazil outshot Paraguay 26-5, and will face the winners of Argentina and Venezuela in the semifinals.

Gatito Fernandez made 13 saves in the loss.

Fabian Balbuena’s 58th minute red card complicated the matter for Paraguay, but the underdogs held out for kicks.

Alisson saved the first penalty of the round, and Willian gave Brazil its advantage.

Roberto Firmino slapped a right-footed shot wide, but Derlis Gonzalez did the same and Brazil held on for a semifinal spot.

Watch Live: Brazil v. Paraguay in the Copa America quarters

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Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron will be asked to do a lot as the man atop Paraguay’s perceived 5-4-1 when he goes up against hosts Brazil on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Copa America.

[ STREAM: Brazil v. Paraguay on Telemundo Deportes ]

Almiron, the subject of transfer rumors this week, is yet to be among the goals in Paraguay’s 0-1-2 start to the tournament, but he set up the two of the three and Thursday would be a heck of a time to score his first international goal on the occasion of his 18th cap.

That’s easier said than done; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, and Filipe Luis are set to man Brazil’s back line, with Arthur and Allan in front of them.

Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho lead the attack for Brazil, with Everton and Gabriel Jesus out wide and Alisson Becker between the sticks.

Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET. Watch it here.

Newcastle’s Almiron ‘honored’ but knows nothing of Real Madrid reports

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Rumors from Paraguay of a Real Madrid in Miguel Almiron have reached the Newcastle United playmaker.

Signed on a club record fee last year from Major League Soccer and Atlanta United, Almiron electrified the Magpies’ attack even if he didn’t assault the stat sheet.

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Current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley loves a profit more than most, and Almiron’s boss Rafa Benitez will leave the club on Sunday.

A report last week claimed that Real would look at Almiron if its unable to land a playmaker like Paul Pogba or Neymar. Could all these things conspire to make Almiron’s tenure at Newcastle just a half season?

From The Chronicle:

“No, I do not know anything about that,” Almiron replied. “For me it’s an honor that a team like that [Real Madrid] looks at me, but I’m not aware of anything and now I’m focused on the Copa America, and then Newcastle.”

The Magpies are again in limbo, with Benitez leaving and a mysterious takeover bid from the Middle East leaking few details after a hot and heavy debut.

Claudio Ranieri and Giovanni van Bronckhorst have been linked with the manager’s job, as have a laundry list of others. While there’s no guarantee that the Magpies new boss would rate Almiron, it’s hard to believe that coach would think there’s enough talent and budget at Newcastle to appreciate the idea of selling the Paraguayan playmaker.

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

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Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

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And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7
Final

Copa America: Argentina dispatches Qatar to advance (video)

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A roundup of Sunday’s action from the final round of Group B play at the 2019 Copa America in Brazil…

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Qatar 0-2 Argentina

Argentina bounced back from a defeat and a draw in their first two games to avoid what would have been an indefensible disaster — failing to advance from the group — by beating Qatar 2-0 in the two sides’ Group B finale.

Lautaro Martinez scored what turned out to be the game-winner after just four minutes. Qatar attempted to play the ball out of the back, but a pass from a Qatari defender was badly mishit and went straight to Martinez, who was quick to corral the ball and run it down for a one-time finish from just inside the box.

Sergio Aguero put the game to bed with a brilliant individual goal in the 82nd minute. After receiving the ball 40 yards from goal, Aguero bust forward and went past two defenders in a flash before picking out a small window to hit with his left-footed finish from 12 yards out.

Up next for Lionel Messi and Co., is a quarterfinal tangle with Venezuela.

Colombia 1-0 Paraguay

Having already secured a place in the quarters, Colombia finished group play with a perfect nine-point record and locked up first place in the group edging past Paraguay.

Gustavo Cuellar bagged the game’s only goal in the 31st minute, when he snuck the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs from an impossibly tight angle.

Colombia finished Group B with three victories, by way of four goals scored and zero goals conceded.

Monday’s Copa America schedule

Chile v. Ecuador — 7 p.m. ET
Ecuador v. Japan — 7 p.m. ET