All smiles for Miguel Almiron with positive news on Monday night
It proved to be a great Monday night for Miguel Almiron.
Whilst things were falling apart at St James Park, his concentration was on Japan v Ecuador.
Already qualified with two wins, Colombia looked to have made it straightforward for Almiron’s team on Sunday night by playing their reserve side, making 10 changes ahead of their quarter-final on Friday.
However, Miguel Almiron and teammates struggled to create chances and a 31st minute goal from Cuellar won it for Colombia. It could have been even worse because only VAR prevented a second for Colombia after the break, a harsh handball decision when the ball brushed an arm.
It had all been set up for Miguel Almiron to face Newcastle teammate Salomon Rondon on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Copa America but instead Argentina qualified in second place.
That left qualification resting on Paraguay going through as one of the best third placed teams. for that to happen it needed Japan to play out a draw with Equador last night (early hours of Tuesday morning UK time).
A win for either of the Group C teams would have guaranteed them a place in the last eight at the expense of Miguel Almiron and Paraguay.
Shoya Nakajima gave Japan the lead with a long range effort on 15 minutes, before then 10 minutes before half-time Angel Mena equalised for Equador.
With a last eight place in Paraguay’s grasp, Japan scored with seconds to go, only for an offside decision to rule it out.
Wild celebrations for Paraguay and now Miguel Almiron and his teammates meet hosts and favourites Brazil on Thursday, the winners heading through to the semi-finals.
It has been a very good tournament on a personal level for Miguel Almiron as he has played a part in all three goals scored so far by Paraguay, including two assists.
The Newcastle striker made his senior international debut back in 2015 but is still waiting for that first goal for his country, Thursday against Brazil would be perfect.
The NUFC squad are due back for pre-season in nine days time (4 July) and it remains to be seen how long Miguel Almiron will need in terms of recovery time after the Copa America, before joining the rest of the Newcastle squad.
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