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Miguel Almiron and Paraguay dominant as kick off in Copa America

4 weeks ago
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A largely productive Monday for international Newcastle United players and one rounded off in style by Miguel Almiron and Paraguay.

The day started with the only real negative for any of the NUFC internationals, a decent display from Scotland in the 2pm Euro 20 kick-off but undone by one very good goal and another exceptional one from the Czech Republic’s Patrick Schick.

Ryan Fraser coming on with 23 minutes to go and the Scots two goals down, the Newcastle player unable to help turn things around.

At 5pm we then watched on as Martin Dubravka celebrated his first ever game in a major finals and it was a winning one, a superb 2-1 win for unfancied Slovakia against a decent Poland side.

Slovakia taking advantage of a red card for Poland when the score was 1-1 but in an entertaining match they more than held their own when 11 v 11 and deserved their victory.

Moving on to the 8pm kick-off and Emil Krafth played the final 15 minutes as an all hands to the pump rearguard action saw Sweden pick up an unlikely point, despite having only 15% of possession. The Swedes though did have one shot on target and hit the post in very rare visits up the pitch.

Finally, we had Miguel Almiron and Paraguay kicking off at 9pm in Brazil (1am on Tuesday in UK time) against Bolivia, as they began their Copa America group matches.

It was 58 years since Bolivia had beaten Paraguay in a Copa America match and when VAR awarded them a penalty, it looked as though a first win since 1963 could be on.

However, in reality, it was Paraguay who absolutely dominated the match and whilst it took a while to get their goals, they were well worth the win.

Bolivia only had one more shot on target in the entire game whilst Paraguay pressed relentlessly, Miguel Almiron working tirelessly as he drove his team forward.

Paraguay with a massive 34 shots to Bolivia’s four and Almiron’s team with 79% possession, 649 passes to Bolivia’s 182.

It looked as though it wasn’t to be their day when VAR then denied them a penalty but it all came good in the second half.

Bolivia having a man sent off just before half-time helped further and Alejandro Romero equalised on 62 minutes, before then two from Angel Romero on 65 and 80 minutes produced the win.

A tournament that has already been moved from Argentina to Brazil due to Covid, matches / squads have also been affected by the virus, Bolivia missing five players who had tested positive ahead of this game.

Argentina could only draw 1-1 with Chile earlier on Monday, so Miguel Almiron and Paraguay top the five team group, with four to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Miguel Almiron played the full 90 minutes in the third of what could be as many as nine games this summer, if Paraguay go all the way to the final.

NEWCASTLE UNITED SUMMER TIMETABLE

Wednesday 9 June

Summer transfer window opens.

Wednesday 9 June

Paraguay 0 Brazil 2

A hard fought game but Neymar giving Brazil a fourth minute lead and after Paraguay failed to get the equaliser, a Lucas Paqueta goal in the third minute of added time finally ended Miguel Almiron and his country’s hopes of extending a proud record of never having lost to Brazil at home since 1985.

Friday 11 June

Euro 2020 finals kick-off with Turkey 0 Italy 3.

Saturday 12 June

Switzerland 1 Wales 1

Fabian Schar playing his first full 90 competitive minutes in over four months, as Switzerland by far the better team and taking the lead through Embolo on 49 minutes. Schar went close to scoring with a clever flick in the first half from a corner but he lost his man on a corner with 17 minutes remaining, Moore heading the equaliser.

Sunday 13 June

England  1 Croatia 0

Monday 14  June – Euro 2020 group games involving Newcastle players kick off

Scotland 0 Czech Republic 2

A decent display from Scotland but undone by one very good goal and another exceptional one.

Ryan Fraser coming on with 23 minutes to go and the Scots two goals down, the Newcastle player unable to help turn things around.

Slovakia 2 Poland 1

Martin Dubravka celebrating his first ever game in a major finals and it was a winning one.

A Szczesny own goal giving Slovakia an 18th minute lead, before then only 3o seconds into the second half the Newcastle keeper was beaten by Poland’s first effort on target. Dubravka maybe thinking he could have saved it but perhaps deceived by the fact that Linetty didn’t hit the ball cleanly.

A red card for Krychowiak on 62 minutes then gave Slovakia a man advantage, which they then used to great effect in taking the lead once again on 69 minutes through Skriniar. Martin Dubravka then showing good handling and control of his box to help see out the win, Slovakia withstanding late pressure from Lewandoski and teammates.

Sweden 0 Spain 0

Emil Krafth played the final 15 minutes as an all hands to the pump rearguard action saw Sweden pick up an unlikely point, despite having only 15% of possession. The Swedes though did have one shot on target and hit the post in very rare visits up the pitch.

Paraguay 3 Bolivia 1

Miguel Almiron and his teammates absolutely dominated with 34 shots to 4 from Bolivia and 79% possession.

Recovering from going behind to a 1oth minute VAR penalty, three second-half goals gave them a deserved victory. The win means Paraguay top their five team Copa America group as Argentina could only draw 1-1 with Chile.

Wednesday 16 June

Premier League fixtures released at 9am.

Switzerland v Italy (Fabian Schar)

Friday 18 June

Scotland v England (Ryan Fraser)

Slovakia v Sweden (Martin Dubravka and Emil Krafth)

Sunday 20 June

Switzerland v Turkey (Fabian Schar)

Monday 21 June

Paraguay v Argentina (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)

Monday 21 June

The mass return of fans to football grounds could be announced as part of final wholesale lifting of virus restrictions.

Tuesday 22 June

England v Czech Republic

Scotland v Croatia (Ryan Fraser)

Wednesday 23 June

Slovakia v Spain (Martin Dubravka)

Sweden v Poland (Emil Krafth)

Thursday 24 June

Paraguay v Chile (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)

Sunday 27 June

Paraguay v Uruguay (Miguel Almiron – Copa America)

Monday 5 July

Newcastle United squad return to start pre-season preparations.

Saturday 10 July

Copa America final in Argentina (possible Miguel Almiron participation).

Sunday 11 July

Final of Euro 2020 at Wembley.

Sunday 18 July

Newcastle United splitting their squad and playing two friendlies on this day, away at York City with 2pm kick-off, away at Harrogate Town with kick-off time to be confirmed (these games linked to training camp at nearby Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate campus just outside York, where NUFC also went last summer).

Friday 30 July

NUFC friendly away at League One Burton Albion, with a 7.45pm kick off.

Saturday 14 August

Weekend that 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off.

Monday 30 August

First international break starts.

Tuesday 31 August

Summer transfer window closes at 11pm.

Monday 4 October

Second international break starts.

Monday 8 November

Third international break starts.

Monday 21 March 2022

Fourth international break starts.

Sunday 22 May 2022

Premier League 2021/22 season ends.

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