2014 World Cup Qualifiers: Chile 2-0 Paraguay

Contreras powers home the opener

Chile’s win at  home, lose away routine in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup continued as they defeated Paraguay 2-0 in front of their home fans only days after being humbled 4-0 by Uruguay. The result sees Chile sitting fifth on the table having played four matches, one point behind early leaders Uruguay, Venezuela and Argentina and equal on points with Ecuador.

Claudio Borghi made two changes to the team that he sent out in Montevideo with Alexis Sánchez and Charles Aránguiz replacing Matías Campos Toro and Marcelo Díaz respectively and in the process maintaining his favoured 3-4-3 formation. It looked like a much more balanced formation although a very attacking one that looked prone to being hit on the counter attack.

Chile, when playing in front of their home fans, look a completely different one to the one plays away and la roja dominated the early proceedings against their Paraguayan opponents. For a period of time it looked like the visitors would frustrate the home side, much as they did to their opponents in the Copa América with the home side unable to break down a committed Paraguayan defence. However in the 27th after a particularly sustained spell of pressure defender, Pablo Contreras launched himself at a Matías Fernández corner to open the scoring. Fernández, who since the suspension of Jorge Valdivia had sole playmaker responsibilites, looked to be back to his best and was pulling the strings in midfield as well as being dangerous from set pieces.

The score remained at 1-0 until the break despite the pressure applied by the home side. The second half was a much different affair as the home side went back into their shell and gave the Paraguayans numerous opportunities to equalise from set pieces, something that Chile have struggled to deal with for a while. For once they held firm and it was in the 85th minute that they put the tie to bed as Matías Campos Toro finished off a sweeping counter-attacking moves involving former Udinese teammates Alexis Sánchez and Mauricio Isla. Campos’ goal came only moments after clearing a goal bound effort off the line.

Chile 2-0 Paraguay

Photo taken from elgrafico.cl
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