Copa America 2019: 3 Reasons why Argentina drew with Paraguay
Argentina kept their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Copa America alive earlier today, when they came from behind to register a 1-1 draw and salvage a point against Paraguay during the Group B clash in Belo Horizonte.
La Albiceleste started positively and with intent, but struggled to break down an organised and resolute Paraguayan defence during the initial stages of the game.
However, Eduardo Berizzo's men took a shock lead in the 37th minute through Richard Sanchez, who scored after getting on the end of a perfect cross from Miguel Almiron.
Despite their best efforts, it seemed like Argentina were on their way to a second successive defeat in the tournament, until Lionel Messi converted a penalty in the 57th minute to restore parity between the sides.
And just minutes later, Paraguay missed a golden opportunity to restore their lead at the other end, where Derlis Gonzalez failed to convert a penalty awarded to his side.
Luis Scaloni's men continue to remain rock-bottom of Group B with just a solitary point from their two games in Group B and will need nothing short of a win against Asian champions Qatar in their final game to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Paraguay, who yet again failed to get over the line after taking the lead, have two points at the moment and will next face Group B leaders Colombia in their final game.
Without further delay, let's take a closer look at the three reasons why Argentina and Paraguay ended up sharing the points under the lights in Belo Horizonte:
#1 Miguel Almiron and his decisive impact early on
Miguel Almiron shone brightly for Paraguay during the outing against Argentina and was arguably one of their most effective players on the pitch.
The 25-year-old, who made the switch to the Premier League with Newcastle United during the winter transfer window in January, was severely restricted towards the fag end of the domestic season in England due to a hamstring issue.
However, Almiron's impact in the first two games at the Copa America has been nothing short of spectacular and he notched up another assist in the tournament after feeding Richard Sanchez against Argentina.
The Paraguayan schemer went on an admirable lung-bursting run down the left flank and produced the perfect cross to the onrushing Sanchez, who fired into the bottom corner to beat Franco Armani in goal for Argentina to break the deadlock in the 37th minute.
And shortly after helping his team take the lead, Almiron produced another moment of brilliance by finding Federico Santander with a cheeky through ball, but the striker fluffed his lines and failed to cause any trouble whatsoever to the opponents.
Despite standing out throughout the first half, Almiron's highlight of the game came shortly after the half time interval, when he shrugged Lionel Messi off the ball and retained possession before bursting forward for his team.