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Miguel Almiron has major setback in early hours of the morning

4 days ago
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Miguel Almiron and his Paraguay teammates got a great result in the early hours of Friday (UK time), drawing 0-0 with Lionel Messi’s Argentina in their South America qualifying group game for the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

Argentina were second in the ten country group, Paraguay sixth, so it was a moral victory for Miguel Almiron and his side as they played out a 0-0 draw, the first time Argentina had failed to score in a game in 25 months.

Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron arguably came closest to winning it for Paraguay, as he had one of their three efforts on target, a great run and forcing the Argentine keeper into a close range save in the second half.

That result left the South America qualifying group for Qatar 2022 looking like this on Friday afternoon:

South America World Cup Qualifying Group 8 October 2021

The top four qualify automatically for Qatar whilst the fifth goes into a play-off. As you can see, Paraguay were in sixth and out of the qualifying spots.

In reality anything from the Argentina match was always going to be a bonus and Paraguay thus having a great chance to set themselves up for the final run of half a dozen qualifiers that will follow after October. As they then had to play eight placed Chile and then ninth placed Bolivia before the players were returning to club football.

However, at around 3am (UK times) this morning (Monday 11 October), Miguel Almiron and the rest of the Paraguay team walked off the pitch gutted.

A nightmare performance saw them fail to have a single effort on target against eighth place Chile, eventually losing the game to two second half goals from the hosts.

Chile had only won one of their first ten group games, so a real disaster for Paraguay, as it now leaves the qualifying table looking like this on Monday morning:

South American World Cup Qualifying Group 11 October 2021

At a glance it may not look like a lot of damage has been done but whilst Paraguay were losing to one of the very weakest in the group, what look their main two rivals, were playing the top pair.  Uruguay losing 3-0 to Argentina but Colombia getting a brilliant point from a goalless draw, after Brazil had won their first nine qualifiers.

This coming Thursday night was also always a must win game for Miguel Almiron and friends but now even more so, kicking off at 9pm (UK time), Paraguay must beat Bolivia away to have any realistic chance of qualifying for Qatar 2022.

In the next international break they play Chile at home, but then the following trio of qualifiers include away games in Colombia and Brazil, plus a home match against Uruguay.

For Newcastle fans, the attention will all be on whether Miguel Almiron arrives back in good time to face Tottenham on Sunday, as a new era blows into Toon. Almiron will finish his game at around 11pm in La Paz on Thursday night, then begin his lengthy journey back to Tyneside sometime on Friday.

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