Chile got off a disappointing start in their quest for qualification for the Under 20 World Cup after they lost 3-1 to Paraguay in the opening match of the hexagonal phase of the Sudamericano Sub-20 tournament.
Chile got off to a good start against the opponents they had defeated 3-2 in their last group game and took the lead in the 8th minute courtesy of Nicolás Castillo who curled the ball through the Paraguayan wall from a free kick just near the edge of the area.
The Paraguayans worked their way into the game after the goal as they imposed themselves physically on their opponents. This approach backfired somewhat in the 22nd minute as their captain Gustavo Gómez was given a straight red card for a foul Cristián Cuevas, who was coming in for a bit of treatment from la albiroja.
Chile’s man advantage was short lived as their own captain, Igor Lichnovsky was sent to the stands five minutes later after picking his second yellow card for a foul on Paraguayan striker, Cecilio Domínguez. Lichnovsky had only picked up his first card minutes earlier following a coming together following Gómez’s foul on Cuevas.
With both teams downs to ten men it was the Paraguayans who looked the better team going into the break with Jorge Rojas having their best chance to equalise in the 40th minute but his shot deflected off the post.
The Paraguayans started the second half in much the same way as they finished the first with Brian Montenegro coming on for Cecilio Domínguez at the break as they went in search of an equaliser. Meanwhile Mario Salas opted to move midfielder Sebastián Martinez into the backline to cover the absent Lichnovksy.
The pressure put on by the Paraguayans paid off in the 60th minute as Derlis González finished off an excellent move that involved the aforementioned Rojas. Seventeen minutes later la albiroja took the lead as Chilean goalkeeper Dario Merlo failed to get to a corner and Matías Pérez headed home.
Four minutes later the Paraguayans put the match beyond doubt and ensured that la rojita would suffer their first loss of the tournament as a fierce shot from Angel Cardozo gave Merlo no chance.
Next up for Chile is a meeting with Ecuador on Wednesday Chilean time.
Chile 1-3 Paraguay