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SK Amaze: Paraguay's deadly counter-attack stuns Argentina


Our Play of the Day comes from the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in South America

Gonzalez celebrates his moment of glory – his stunningly worked goal sunk a Messi-less Argentina

Derlis Gonzalez is a useful little footballer. Tireless and pacy, he is mostly used on the wings by both his club and his nation and that reflects on his goal tally. 

The Paraguayan plays for Dynamo Kyiv where he’s scored 3 goals in 22 appearances. He had 3 in 26 for his former club Basel and 8 in 50 for Rubio Nu. He’s also featured 25 times for his country and scored 4 goals. 

Not very impressive, no?

Sometimes, however, it’s not the number of goals – but when and against whom the goal is scored that matters. This is most pertinent when it comes to his fourth goal for his nation. 

It all started when Angel Di Maria embarked on one of his typically swerving Angel Di Maria runs. A superb tackle takes the ball off the toes of the flying winger. And then it’s all ruthlessly (and brilliantly) executed from there. A superb first touch from Angel Romero took him past a flailing Javier Mascherano and he did even better to nutmeg a diving Nicolas Otamendi and release Derlis Gonzales all alone on the right flank. 

With Argentina’s left back, Marcos Rojo, nowhere to be seen at his station, Gonzalez had the entire freedom of the flank as he ran straight at Sergio Romero in goal  before unleashing a hammer right into the bottom corner at the near post. 

Nine seconds is all it took. A perfect counter-attack and a perfect killing blow for Paraguay. Francisco Arce should be mighty proud of that bit of synchronised movement from his midfielders. 

Watch it for yourself right here, and enjoy the calculated ruthlessness of the counter-attack.

A Lionel Messi-less Argentina meanwhile played well but couldn’t find an equaliser. Sergio Aguero missed a penalty, Angel Di Maria had a shot stopped by the woodwork and Marcos Rojo had a goal disallowed under controversial circumstances.

Paraguay now move to within one point off fifth-placed Argentina, and above Copa America winners Chile. The resulted has boosted their chance to qualify for Russia 2018.

Here’s the table in its entirety – 

Brazil21 points
Uruguay20 points
Ecuador17 points
Colombia17 points
Argentina 16 points
Paraguay15 points
Chile14 points
Peru8 points
Bolivia8 points
Venezuela2 points

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