SOUTH AMERICA – Uruguay beat Paraguay 2-0 at Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium on 28 March in what was for both teams their 11th game in the South American World Cup qualifying group. The upset win over top-placed Paraguay came about with a goal from Diego Forlan after 28 minutes and another from Diego Lugano 12 minutes into the second half.
“This result changes nothing for us. We hadn’t qualified before the game against Uruguay and we still haven’t qualified now. That’s not the way we think and we are still striving towards our goal of reaching the World Cup,” said Paraguay’s manager, Gerardo Martino, minutes after the end of the game.
He admitted to ABC Color that Uruguay played a more intelligent game and knew how to defend their advantage.
In spite of losing, though, Paraguay, with 23 points, still leads the group. The top four teams will qualify for South Africa 2010.
On the same day, Diego Maradona celebrated his debut as manager of Argentina with a resounding 4-0 win over Venezuela at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires. The goals were scored by Lionel Messi, Maxi Rodriguez, Sergio Agüero, and Carlos Tevez.
“This team is never satisfied. Some minor points need fixing, but it is easier to improve after this result. This time reality was better than fiction. I think we played the perfect game,” Maradona told La Nación.
In other matches on 28 March, Chile beat Peru 3-1 in Lima. Alexis Sanchez, Humberto Suazo, and Mark Gonzalez scored for Chile and Johan Fano for Peru. With a goal by Julio Baptista, Brazil was leading Ecuador in Quito until an 89th minute goal from Ecuador’s Christian Noboa gave the home team a hard-earned 1-1 draw.
Colombia beat Bolivia 2-0 at Bogotá’s El Campin Stadium, with goals from Macnelly Torres and Wason Rentería.
Paraguay remain on top of the group with 23 points. Argentina and Chile are second with 19 points, followed by Brazil with 18, Uruguay with 16, Colombia with 14, Ecuador with 13, Venezuela with 10, Bolivia with 9, and bottom-placed Peru with 7.