Suárez returns to Uruguay the illusion of a place in the World Cup in Qatar

Paraguayan Juan Escobar disputes a ball with Uruguayan Darwin Núñez in the match between Paraguay and Uruguay for the qualifying round of the Qatar World Cup, played at the Estadio General Pablo Rojas stadium, Asunción, Paraguay, on January 27, 2022 REUTERS/Cesar Olmedo

ASUNCIÓN, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Luis Suárez gave Uruguay back the illusion of qualifying for the Qatar World Cup on Thursday, scoring the goal that gave his team the victory against Paraguay in a game with few emotions that marked the debut of coach Diego Alonso.

The Atlético de Madrid striker scored in the 50th minute the goal that “Celeste” needed to stay in the race in the South American qualifying round for the World Cup, which starts in November.

Uruguay added 19 units and was momentarily in fourth position, in the qualifying zone, waiting for the other matches of the date. Brazil and Argentina are already classified.

Despite the locality, Paraguay was inferior to its rival in most of the match played at the Pablo Rojas stadium of the Cerro Porteño club. With 13 points and in penultimate place in the table, the “white and red” lost any chance of returning to a World Cup after 12 years.

Suárez scored with a cross shot after a long pass from defender Diego Godín, who lowered the ball with his chest outside the box and delivered it accurately to his teammate, who beat the rival defense to put his team ahead.

“El Pistolero” had missed the opportunity to open the scoring after 14 minutes, with a header that hit the crossbar.

The hosts finished the match with 10 players, as defender Gustavo Gómez was sent off in the 94th minute after receiving two yellow cards. “If you’re not capable of winning at home, it’s very complicated. We did everything possible, we feel a lot of shame,” said Paraguayan striker Carlos González.

With the victory, Alonso’s team, who made his debut as coach after the departure of Óscar Tabárez after 15 years leading the team, Uruguay will be able to face its next match on Tuesday against Venezuela, which is in the bottom of the table and plays on Friday against Bolivia.

Paraguay will visit Brasil in Belo Horizonte.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis)

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