Quinonez heads Paraguay past Italy
Paraguay bounce back to surprise Italy 2-1
La Albirrojita finish first in Group F
Sets up Paraguay-Argentina, Italy-Ecuador in Round of 16
Junior Quinonez's headed goal in the 52nd minute earned Paraguay a 2-1 triumph over Italy in Brasilia on Sunday at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™. Falling behind only three minutes into their Group F finale, La Albirrojita climbed back into the match with goals in either half, then defended furiously to cement a first-place finish in the group with seven points. Italy fell to second place, and both sides will contest their last-16 ties on Thursday in Vitoria.
With their place in the knockout phase already secure, head coach Carmine Nunziata opted for nine changes to the lineup that defeated Mexico on Thursday. Lorenzo Pirola scored with his head three minutes from the starting whistle, and the Italians were in command for the opening half-hour. But Paraguay were able to wrestle control away from Gli Azzurrini, and their resulting defeat means they'll take on Ecuador next.
Shaken by Italy's quick goal, it took Paraguay time to find stability in the opening period. Slowly their muscular midfield began to win more battles, and by the end of the first half they were on the front foot. In the 37th minute, Diego Duarte netted his second goal of Brazil 2019 to equalise. Later Quinonez, the tallest player on the pitch, rose to connect with Fabrizio Peralta's corner-kick and directed a looping header into the net from 15 yards. As group winners, Paraguay will square off with South American neighbours Argentina on Thursday.
Round of 16 [[flag-ecu-xs]] Ecuador-Italy [[flag-ita-xs]] (7 November, Vitoria/Cariacica, 16:30 local time) [[flag-par-xs]] Paraguay-Argentina [[flag-arg-xs]] (7 November, Vitoria/Cariacica, 20:00 local time)
Brazil 2019: Italy-Paraguay
Diego Duarte of Paraguay U-17 celebrates a scored goal
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 03: Diego Duarte of Paraguay celebrates a scored goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup Brazil 2019 group F match betwe...
Lorenzo Pirola of Italy U-17 celebrates a scored goal
BRASILIA, BRAZIL NOVEMBER 03: Lorenzo Pirola of Italy celebrates a scored goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup Brazil 2019 group F match between...