Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Paraguay vs Argentina Preview, Live Score: World Cup 2009 Qualifier

Argentina is facing a big test when the team takes on Paraguay on 9 September 2009 at the Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción in a crucial world cup 2010 qualifying fixture. No doubt, Argentina coach Diego Maradona is now feeling the heat following Argentina’s 3-1 loss to arch rivals Brazil last Saturday. Argentina was lucky that they could hold on to the fourth place in the table despite the defeat because Columbia defeated Ecuador. So, Argentina has a huge task ahead of them as the Paraguay match is a must-win game for them. As for Paraguay, who have 5-point advantage over Argentina, just needs to keep the momentum going for the remainder of the qualifying competition. Despite the fact that they are pretty much safe in the third position of the standing, I do not think Paraguay would feel any complacency while facing mighty Argentina.

Match: Paraguay vs Argentina; FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualification (South America Region)

Date: 9 September 2009 (Wednesday)

Venue: Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asuncion, Paraguay

Live on TV: Super Sports 7 TV Channel

Time: 23:00 GMT; 00:00 (12:00am) BST (British Summer Time)

Indian Standard Time (IST): 04:30 am (10 September)

USA Time: Washington (19:00); Los Angles (16:00); Chicago (18:00); New York (19:00)

Argentina coach Diego Maradona is a God to many football fans, and in Argentina, he is considered to be a football idol. However, it seems that Maradona is going to prove the old saying: great players can not become good coach. Well, I do not think it is the right time to evaluate Maradona as a coach because Argentina is now in an ongoing tournament and you can not say what is going to happen in the end. Still, Argentina’s performance of recent is really very awkward and it does not go with the statue of football powerhouse Argentina.

Argentina lost four of their last three qualifying games now including a humiliating 6-1 thrash at the hands of Bolivia. The margin of defeat against Bolivia was so surprising that even the high altitude of the country could not become an excuse for the Argentina. The last dent to Argentina’s coffin came last weekend when visiting Brazil pulled off a 3-1 victory in front of jam-packed Argentine crowd in Rosario. After that defeat, Argentina now has 22 points from 15 games, just 2 points above the fifth and sixth placed Columbia and Ecuador. Naturally, another defeat could see them moving down to fifth of sixth place in the point table. In fact, if Argentina suffers another defeat on Wednesday, and Columbia and Ecuador win their respective qualifying fixtures, Argentina will definitely be dropped to the sixth place with two matches in hand.

However, as a coach, Maradona is as usual optimistic about the result of the Paraguay game. He believes that his team would fare well in their visit to Paraguay who earlier held a 1-1 draw in their first qualifying meeting with Argentina in June 2008.

Canadian Press reported:

Maradona tried to remain dignified and calm in the wake of Saturday's loss to the Brazilians in Rosario and as he looked ahead to another huge test, a visit to third-place Paraguay on Wednesday.

"It's going to be tough," he said. "It will be more difficult because of today. These things happen in football. This won't break me."

Well, Maradona fans are very much aware of his greatness and his never-break mentality but now the he needs to infuse this mentality among his players who have not been performing at their best over the last few games. Maradona has the personality and the character to inspire his players to give their best for their country. If Maradona can fail to do so, he might become the first coach in 30 years who would fail to lead Argentina to qualify for world cup finals.

Paraguay, on the other hand, is hoping to clinch their world cup spot by defeating Argentina in front of home crowd on Wednesday with 2 games left in hand. Paraguay did not miss any world cup finals since 1998 world cup in France. Paraguay may not be a big force in world football, but in Latin America they are always considered to be one of the favorites.

Paraguay has 27 points from 15 games and needs three more points from three games to clinch their place in world cup 2010 finals. Paraguay is the only team who could win over Brazil, who already qualified for world cup finals, in the ongoing world cup qualifying campaign. In the previous round, Paraguay defeated Bolivia 1-0 to hold on to their third place. However, their very recent form is not satisfactory at all. They lost 3 out of their last 5 qualifying games including a draw and a win. So, Paraguay, in no way, can take Argentina lightly only because of the fact that they need only 3 points to qualify from 3 games. Rather, I think, Paraguay would like to show a strong performance against Argentina in what would boost up their confidence level too.

Paraguay coach is very concerned about the kind of threat Argentina poses and he admits that he is not expecting an easy game against the Maradona boys.

Guardian reported:

The Paraguay coach, Gerardo Martino, said he was not expecting an easy game. "Argentina – despite how they are playing in the qualifiers – everything about them worries me. This is a world power with a top group of players."

Argentina’s tension has been intensified as star striker Carlos Tevez is missing the Paraguay game due to a knee injury that he picked up during Argentina’s 3-1 loss to Brazil. It is definitely a big blow for the visitors, but I think, if Argentine players can play according to their class and talent, then Tevez’s absence should not be felt.

Argentina has some talented players like Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero in their attacking line up. In the midfield, they have experienced players like Veron, Javier Mascherano, Maxi Rodríguez, while Argentine defense boasts of players like Javier Zanetti, Fabricio Coloccini and Gabriel Heinze.

Paraguay may not have many stars in their squad, but the home would definitely look for something special from the players like Denis Caniza, Salvador Cabanas, Nelson Haedo Valdez, Oscar Cardozo, Édgar Barreto and some others. Still, I must say that Paraguay will feel the absence of star forward Roque Santa Cruz who is currently recovering from knee surgery that he underwent last April.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match:

Live Score


Live Football Scores


Footie Scorez

Well, there is no doubt, Paraguay will have home advantage in the game, while Argentina will be desperate to do their best to pick up three points from the game, knowing that only a win in Paraguay can ease their already intensified condition. Argentina may have some good players in the defense, but against Brazil, their defense was often exposed and was responsible for the third goal they conceded. Paraguay is now back to winning way, but the challenge ahead of them is to continue that momentum against Argentina and I think, they would like to do so in front of home fans. Overall, I am expecting a highly-competitive affair between the two sides.

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