Paraguay is a team that is hard to get excited about, because they are easily overshadowed by South American powerhouses Argentina and Brazil. Despite there being better teams ahead of them like Spain and France, Paraguay has a real shot at bronze. This would duplicate their best finish at the South American hosted 2006 World Championships, and it seems hard to picture them repeating that on Asian soil. With Japan, France and Morocco, they should easily qualify out of their group. If they finish second in their group, they could meet turkey, China or Colombia whom they could easily win against. Then they would almost certainly meet Brazil, and then they would be done in their quest for gold.
Coming into this competition, the team played a three game friendly series against Argentina. They drew one, lost one and won one. The team also participated in last year’s Copa America, where they beat Mexico 1 – 0 with a goal from Jorge Villalba. They then beat Peru 6 – 0 with goals from Jorge Villalba, Ricardo Villamayo, Hugo Ramirez and Jose Martti. Next, they took down Uruguay with goals from Wilfredo Lopez and Jorge Villalba. They met Uruguay again, and had a better result of 5 – 0. They had help with goals from Ricardo Villamayor, Hugo Ramirez and Teofilo Sanchez. They had a 0 – 0 draw against Argentina. They had a 4 – 0 loss to Brazil. They finished the competition in third, after defeating Colombia in penalty kicks.
Their experience against Brazil is not good. They met at the 2013 Copa America, where they lost 4 – 0. At the 2006 World Championships, they lost 2 – 0. At the 2002 World Championships, they drew 2 – 2. It isn’t a winning record that breeds confidence into a darkhorse gold medal victory. Still stranger things have happened.