Mexico take the hard route to Brazil semi-final with 3-2 win over Paraguay

March 3 – In an entertaining quarter final at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, Mexico dominated and then only just managed to scrape past a brave Paraguayan challenge 3-2 that in the second half pushed the Mexicans to the brink of disaster.

Two goals from Jacqueline Ovalle secured the win that in the end was far from straightforward as Paraguay, as they had done in qualifying for the quarter finals, saved their best for last.

The imposing Jessica Martinez had a penalty saved by Estephany Barreras. Goalkeepers don’t win matches but they do save them. Barreras did that today with a series of saves as she commanded her six-yard box.

Mexico came into the quarter final on the high of beating world ranked number two USA to top their group, only their second win over the US in 40 attempts and a result that sent a shockwave through the women’s game in the Concacaf region, not just in terms of the result but in the way they outplayed and out thought the US. The question for Mexico was whether they could follow up on that extraordinary night.

Paraguay came into the semi-final having qualified in second place in their group with an added time victory over El Salvador. Few expected them to mount a major challenge to the Mexicans, let alone push them to the wire.

Paraguay opened brightly taking the attack to Mexico with El Salvador hattrick hero Jessica Martinez and Lice Chamorro unafraid to make their presence felt.

Mexico quicky found their compsure and countered with Cristina Ferral overlapping on the right and crossing to Mayra Pelayo who failed to control her shot.

Paraguay banked up with a line of four and five in front of Mexico’s flowing passing movement that saw

In the 10th minute Ferral again found space wide on the right, this time Karla Nieto hit the cross over the bar.

On 19’  Dulce Quintana pulled a rare Paraguayan chance wide.

Mexico responded with Rebeca Bernal driving towards Paraguay’s goal and chipping over the defence to Kiana Palacios…

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Author : Paul Nicholson

Publish date : 2024-03-04 00:35:11

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