In a thrilling encounter, Paraguay celebrated its inaugural victory in the South American World Cup 2026 qualifiers, defeating Bolivia with a clean 1-0 scoreline. The hero of the night was none other than Arnoldo “Tony” Sanabria, who netted the decisive goal in the 69th minute.
👏 Historic Win:
This triumph marked a historic moment for the Paraguayan national team as they clinched their first win in the qualifying campaign. The victory has instilled a sense of stability and optimism within the squad under the guidance of their Argentine coach, Daniel Garnero.
🟥 Bolivia’s Struggles:
On the other hand, Bolivia faced a challenging battle throughout the match and ended up playing with ten players after Marcelino Núñez received a red card in the 59th minute. Núñez had just stepped onto the field as a substitute for Charles Aránguiz, leaving Bolivia to navigate the remainder of the game with a numerical disadvantage.
📈 Changing Fortunes:
Paraguay’s journey in the qualifiers took a positive turn with this win, elevating their point tally to 4. The team initially started with a draw against Peru but faced subsequent defeats against Venezuela and Argentina. Their ascent to the seventh position in the standings signifies their determination to climb higher.
In contrast, Bolivia finds itself at the bottom of the standings, occupying the tenth and final spot with no points earned after four matches.
⚽ Tony Sanabria Ends the Drought:
Tony Sanabria’s goal not only secured the win but also marked Paraguay’s first goal in the World Cup qualifiers since their 3-1 victory over Ecuador on March 25th of the previous year during the Qatar 2022 qualifying campaign.
Paraguay’s coach embraced an offensive lineup, featuring the trio of Miguel Almirón, Alejandro Gamarra, Ramón Sosa, and Adam Barreiro. Although Ramón Sosa missed a golden opportunity (24′) with a one-on-one chance against Bolivia’s goalkeeper, the determined Paraguayan side remained relentless.
Bolivia, in contrast, adopted a defensive approach to contain Paraguay’s threats on their home turf, the Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asunción. However, their defensive efforts couldn’t withstand the jubilation as Tony Sanabria delivered the decisive strike.
🤝 A Gesture of Sportsmanship:
It’s worth noting that Arnoldo Sanabria was involved in a controversial incident with Lionel Messi, the Argentine superstar, in a previous match. The two players were allegedly part of a spat that led to accusations of spitting. However, Sanabria clarified that upon reviewing the footage, it was clear that nothing of the sort had occurred.
🌟 Promising Prospects:
Paraguay’s memorable victory not only boosts their morale but also sets the stage for an exciting journey in the World Cup qualifiers. As the campaign unfolds, they aim to leave an indelible mark on the road to the 2026 World Cup.
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