By FRANCO PANIZO
For the second straight game Paraguay had the game taken to them by its opponent. For the second straight game Paraguay was held scoreless. And for the second straight game, Pararaguay persevered and won on penalty kicks.
Paraguay advanced to the Copa America final on Wednesday night with a 5-3 penalty kick win over Venezuela following a scoreless tie. Justo Villar's save on Franklin Lucena's effort allowed Dario Veron to hit the winning spot kick in a game that marked Paraguay's return to the tournament final for the first time since 1979.
Venezuela, which is arguebaly the tournament's biggest surprise, forced the issue for much of the game, and could have come away with a win had a pair of shots not hit the crossbar. The Venezuelans even looked to have scored in regulation, but a header from Oswaldo Vizcarrondo unluckily hit Jose Rondon before going in and Rondon was ruled offside.
But Paraguay, which has yet to win a game in regulation or extra time in this tournament, held on to force a shootout, just as it did against Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Following the conclusion of the penalty kicks a brawl broke out between the teams, but no players were ejected.
Paraguay's win means it will take on Uruguay in the final on July 24 while Venezuela and Peru will square off in the third-place match a day earlier.
Here are highlights from the game:
What do you think of Paraguay's penalty kick win over Venezuela? Surprised a team which has yet to win in regulation or extra tima is on to the final? Who do you see winning the third-place game and final?
Share your thoughts below.