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AFP
June 26, 2019

Paraguay through to Copa quarterfinal

Sports

AFP
June 26, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO: Paraguay became the final qualifiers for the Copa America quarterfinals without even playing on Monday as the two teams who could deny them, Japan and Ecuador, drew 1-1 in Belo Horizonte.

Uruguay topped Group C as Edinson Cavani’s goal eight minutes from time gave them a 1-0 win over champions Chile, who also qualify, at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.Japan and Ecuador faced a must win match in their bid to reach the knock-out stages as one of the two best third-placed finishers. Peru had already secured their spot from Group A while Paraguay, in Group B, were left sweating on Monday’s result. Shoya Nakajima gave Japan the lead on 15 minutes with a goal validated by VAR, but 10 minutes from half time, Angel Mena equalized for Ecuador. Japan substitute Daizen Maeda was put clean through late on but saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.

Deep into stoppage time teenage sensation Takefusa Kubo had the ball in the net but a dramatic winner was ruled out for offside after consulting VAR. In Rio, Chile knew they needed only a draw to keep hold of top spot in Group C and avoid Colombia — the only team with a perfect group stage record — in the quarterfinals.But Cavani’s late header from substitute Jonathan Rodriguez’s cross ensured Uruguay will now face Peru for a place in the semifinals.

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