In probably the scrappiest game so far in Copa America, the United States pulled off a 1-0 win over Paraguay. A total of nine yellow cards were shown with six going towards the US and three to Paraguay. Right back DeAndre Yedlin lost his cool for just a minute in the game and earned two yellow cards in a 30 second span. US manager Jurgen Klinsmann commented on the two yellow cards after he was seen arguing with the ref after the second yellow.
“The red card that DeAndre got, the coaches showed me. It’s two yellows. It’s totally fine,” Klinsmann stated.
USMNT Qualifies for Copa America Quarterfinals After 1-0 Win over Paraguay
Coming into the game, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Johnson and John Brooks were already on yellow cards and another yellow would mean they would miss the quarter finals. The yellow cards carry over into the quarter finals, but seven different players in today’s game now have a yellow card (Bradley, Wood, Orozco, Jones, Bedoya, Brooks, Johnson).
In the statistics category, Paraguay dominated the game. And it was not even close. La Albirroja had a total of six shots in the first half alone with half on target. In the entire game, Paraguay completed exactly 400 passes with 52 incomplete passes. Paraguay had more complete passes in the first half than the US had all game. Paraguay completed 171 in the first half and US completed 163 total passes.
There’s a mindset in soccer where it doesn’t matter how much possession a team has in a game, it’s what you do with the ball when you have it. That saying would ring true for Paraguay as they had 60% possession without a goal to show for it. Paraguay absolutely needed a win to go through to the quarterfinals. It was quite literally win or go home. They came out guns blazing and ready to fire on all cylinders. But the US out-performed them in one category and that was in the hustle department.
Paraguay was through on goal and they are known for being lethal in transition. It was a three on one situation. Having a counterattack that off balanced usually should lead to a goal. But Brooks thought other wise. This match was possibly the best performance the Hertha Berlin-based centerback has had in a US kit. He had a game leading 14 clearances and five steals. He was named deservedly Budweiser Man of the Match. Along with the defensive performance, the hustle was shown in the recoveries category. They had 27 total ball recoveries, a huge number which came about by US’ 74% pass accuracy.
The lone goal was scored by Clint Dempsey in the 27th minute. Gyasi Zardes made a low percentage cross into the box where Dempsey tapped the ball into the net on the American Outlaws side of the field. Zardes nearly had a goal himself but Paraguay veteran goalkeeper Justo Villar pounced on the ball after a poor touch, which Zardes is known for doing. Paraguay had a chance to equalize in the 85th minute, but the potential goal was waved off after Gustavo Gomez was found to be just a bit offsides. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan late in the game made a tremendous double save to keep the score line at 1-0.