Thursday, March 30, 2017

Paraguay v Jamaica: Schafer hoping for a little bit of luck

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jun 2015


Jamaica coach Winfried Schafer is hopeful they can have a little bit of fortune against Paraguay as he eyes a surprise run to the quarter-finals of the Copa America.

The tournament invitees performed above expectations in their opening game against defending champions Uruguay on Saturday, but succumbed to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Cristian Rodriguez’s 52nd-minute strike.

A failure to deal with a set-piece led to the decisive goal, but Schafer – whose side had previously gone five games unbeaten – retains his ambitious goals for the tournament ahead of Tuesday’s clash.

He said: “We want to go to the quarter-finals, that’s why we came to Chile to play in the Copa America. Now we have to watch the players how they recover.

“The next game against Paraguay is going to be very difficult. We know we can play good football and we hope against Paraguay we can play the same and have a little bit of luck.

“For this [Uruguay] match nobody gave us a chance, but I hope the people in Chile and South America know now that we can play good football in Jamaica, though our main goal is preparation for the World Cup qualification.”

Jamaica will again be underdogs for the game at Estadio Regional Calvo y Bascunan in Antofagasta versus a Paraguay side who produced a stunning comeback in their first game with 2014 World Cup finalists Argentina.

Paraguay trailed 2-0 after 36 minutes, but a stunning long-range goal from Nelson Valdez and a 90th-minute equaliser from Lucas Barrios earned a share of the spoils for Ramon Diaz’s side.

Despite failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Paraguay have a considerable pedigree in this tournament, having reached the final in 2011 – only to lose to Uruguay – and progressed to the quarter-finals in 2004 and 2007.

With Group B favourites Uruguay and Argentina playing each other, a win over Jamaica would put Paraguay in a strong position to reach the last eight again as they seek to go one better than four years ago and lift the trophy for a third time.

But, following Jamaica’s resolute display in their opener, Paraguay would be wise to heed the words of Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez – who described the Caribbean side as “no pushovers” – and ensure any confidence from the draw with Argentina does not turn into complacency.


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