PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 29: Paulo Da Silva of Paraguay jumps for a high ball above Makoto Hasebe of Japan during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Paraguay and Japan at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 29, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Copa America 2011 Semifinals, Paraguay Vs. Venezuela: Paraguay Advance To Final

Venezuela haven't played the prettiest football, but they've found their way to the Copa America semifinals and will look to pull another upset when they take on Paraguay

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Copa America 2011 Semifinals, Paraguay Vs. Venezuela: Paraguay Win One Of The Worst Games Ever On Penalties

In one of the worst matches ever played at the highest level of international football, Paraguay have managed to progress to the final of the 2011 Copa America, where they will face Uruguay, after defeating Venezuela 5-3 on penalty kicks. The game ended 0-0 after 120 minutes, and the lack of ambition that Paraguay showed in committing numbers forward and attempting to win the game was astonishing. It was so negative that Helenio Herrera would be mortified. You know, if he wasn't already dead.

Paraguay's Jonathan Santana was shown a second yellow card and sent off in the 102nd minute, which somehow had absolutely no bearing on the game, as Paraguay were just putting everyone behind the ball and passing sideways anyway. Venezuela tried to do something for the remainder of the match due to their players having a pulse, but they were unsuccessful in their attempts to score a goal.

Proving that there is no god and that karma is absolute nonsense, Paraguay won the penalty shootout. They are now in the final of Copa America despite the fact that they have not won a single game in the tournament. They have led for a total of 54 minutes over the course of five games, two of which went to extra time. 

Rumor has it that if Paraguay wins the final on penalties, Sepp Blatter will attempt to cancel football.


Copa America 2011 Semifinals, Paraguay Vs. Venezuela: Scoreless 90 Minutes Leads To Extra Time

Much to the displeasure of both sets of supporters, Venezuela and Paraguay are locked in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes of their 2011 Copa America semifinal. It hasn't been a 0-0 draw created by fantastic goalkeeping, defending and tactics, but has instead been a very conservative and - in the opinion of the supporters in the stadium - boring match. It would be surprising to see this match be decided in the next 30 minutes, as the play in the second half suggests that both teams will be content with penalties.

Paraguay attempted to change the game when they brought on Roque Santa Cruz, who is returning from injury, but he lasted only 10 minutes before he was substituted off due to fitness concerns. Osvaldo Martinez, who is a winger and not a striker, was the man who replaced him, leading to a tactical shift that has Lucas Barrios up top by himself.

Though Venezuela has created more chances, their best chances came in the first half of the match. The second half was fairly uneventful, and we can only hope that the next 30 minutes are an improvement.


Copa America 2011 Semifinals, Paraguay Vs. Venezuela: First Half Ends Scoreless

Through 45 minutes of play, the 2011 Copa America semifinal between Paraguay and Venezuela hasn't quite lived up to the excitement of their fantastic group stage game, in which Venezuela mounted an incredible comeback to secure a 3-3 draw. Paraguay have been the slightly better side, but Venezuela have been the team that has come closer to scoring a goal, hitting the crossbar once and having a seemingly good goal disallowed. At halftime, the score is tied up at 0-0.

Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, who has had an absolutely brilliant tournament, appeared to score with a header in the 35th minute before having his goal disallowed. Two of his teammates were offside when the ball was played into him, but neither interfered with play in the slightest and the linesman made a poor decision to flag for offsides on the goal.

In the 42nd minute, Alejandro Moreno beat Justo Villar and hit the crossbar with a great header, but the ball bounced clear. Jose Solomon Rondon attempted a shot on the rebound, but Villar made a comfortable save. Those were far and away the best two chances of the first half, as Paraguay controlled possession but failed to create clear cut chances.

Venezuela look very capable of pulling off another big upset, and Paraguay will have to seriously improve in the second half.


Copa America 2011 Semifinals, Paraguay Vs. Venezuela: Preview

This semifinal was supposed to be a thrilling match up between Brazil and Chile. Attack versus attack. Skill versus skill. Flair versus flair. It was going to be one of the highlights of all of Copa America, but Paraguay and Venezuela had to go and ruin the party. Paraguay defeated Brazil on penalty kicks and Venezuela took down Chile, 2-1, to knock the favorites out and set up a semifinal of two surprising teams.

Most thought that Paraguay were a solid team with the chance to pull an upset and go deep into the tournament, but they would do it with their attack. They would score goals and overwhelm opponents with what they had in the middle and attacking third, not what they had in the defensive third. Then they went out and kept a Brazil team that has started to find their attacking rhythm scoreless for 120 minutes before defeating them in penalties. Make sense? Not at all, but they did it.

Now they'll have to stifle Venezuela. That sounds weird, but the Venezuelans have five goals in their last three matches. That includes their 3-3 draw with Paraguay in their final group stage match that saw Venezuela score in the 89th and 90th minute to come back and earn a point. If Venezuela are to win they'll need a top performance from Nicolas Fedor because he's the only player who has looked the slightest bit dangerous going forward. Everything else has been opportune attacking, especially on set pieces.

Gabriel Chichero and Oswaldo Vicarrondo have anchored the Venezuela defense and they'll have to be strong again against Paraguay. The Paraguayans are certainly the favorites, but they've been dysfunctional at times in the tournament, especially at the back so yet another upset in this Copa America isn't out of the realm of possibility.

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