UPDATE 1-Soccer-Tevez off again as Argentina held by Paraguay
(adds quotes pars 6-10 )
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Carlos Tevez was sent off for the second time in three internationals as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Gabriel Heinze put through his own goal after only 13 minutes and Argentina were in further trouble when Tevez, sent off in the 2-1 defeat in Colombia in November, was dismissed again for two violent tackles in the 31st.
They managed to snatch a draw when substitute Sergio Aguero scored from a chance set up by Lionel Messi just after the hour.
The draw kept Paraguay top of the 10-team South American World Cup qualifying group with 14 points from seven games, two ahead of second-placed Argentina, who have failed to win in their last four qualifiers.
It was the fifth time in a row that Paraguay, backed by a large, rowdy contingent of fans, had drawn away to Argentina in a World Cup qualifier. Their last defeat was in 1973.
"It was one of those games where everything went wrong," said Argentina coach Alfio Basile. "But I liked the attitude of the team in the second half when we were down to 10 men.
"We missed three of four good chances and I think we deserved to win the match."
Paraguay's Argentine coach Gerardo Martino was frustrated.
"We wasted an historic chance to win the in the Monumental and I feel we could have taken all three points," said Martino, whose side beat Brazil 2-0 in June and drew 0-0 with France in a friendly in May.
"Our idea is that we can compete on equal terms with the best, such as Argentina, Brazil and France."
Argentina made a lively start with Juan Roman Riquelme bouncing a free kick off the Paraguay crossbar in the eighth minute.
Their troubles began five minutes later when Paraguay launched a long ball forward from midfield, Heinze misjudged the situation under pressure from Nelson Haedo Valdez and headed the ball past keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri into the goal.
Heinze also collided with Abbondanzieri, who was taken off injured and replaced by Juan Pablo Carrizo.
Almost immediately, Tevez was lucky to escape with only a yellow card for a sliding tackle from behind on Enrique Vera.
But there was no reprieve when he was booked again for a studs-up challenge on Dario Veron.
Heinze was taken off at halftime along with Angel Di Maria and newcomers Daniel Diaz and Aguero gave the hosts new life.
With the Paraguay crowd in full voice, Messi burst through the heart of the Paraguay midfield in the 61st minute and slipped the ball to Aguero, who placed the ball into the far corner.
Argentina then enjoyed their best spell, creating several clearcut chances, while Carrizo produced a superb save to turn Haedo Valdez's header around the post.
(Editing by Clare Lovell)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this