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Paraguay is set to take on Ecuador on Thursday in CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifying.
As of game time, Ecuador has clinched at least a spot in the inter-confederation playoff and is in position to qualify directly to the World Cup, while Paraguay has been eliminated from advancing.
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This is the second meeting of these sides during this qualification period. When the teams last met in September, Ecuador came away with a 2-0 victory.
That match was scoreless until the 88th minute, when Felix Torres scored the first goal for Ecuador. Michael Estrada scored the other goal in stoppage time.
Ecuador is looking to return to the World Cup after missing the 2018 event. The team failed to advance out of the group stage in 2014. A single point in either of the final two qualifiers in March would seal Ecuador’s fourth World Cup appearance, with all of them coming since 2002.
Paraguay doesn’t have a World Cup berth to play for, but the team can still avoid falling to last-place in the standings. This will be the third World Cup in a row that Paraguay has missed despite the team finding success earlier this century, including a 2010 quarter-final appearance.
Ahead of the game, GOAL has the details of how to watch on TV, stream online, team news and more.
|Games||Paraguay vs Ecuador|
|Date||March 24, 2022|
|Times||7:30pm ET, 4:30pm PT|
TV channel, live stream & how to watch
In the United States (US), CONMEBOL qualifying matches can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (try for free).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|U.S. TV channel||Online stream|
|fubo Sports Network||fubo TV (try for free)|
Team news & rosters
|Goalkeepers||Silva, Junior Fernandez, Gonzalez, Santiago Rojas|
|Defenders||Gustavo Gomez, Alonso, Balbuena, Robert Rojas, Alderete, Espinola, Riveros, Zarate|
|Midfielders||Oscar Romero, Almiron, Ojeda, Ortiz, Sanchez, Villasanti, Cubas, Florentin, Medina, Colman, Galarza, Marcos Gomez|
|Forwards||Angel Romero, Enciso, Ferreira, Morales|
Ex-Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto took over the reins at Paraguay in October with the national team in a dire state.
The Albirroja’s chances of making Qatar were already slim, and three subsequent defeats and a draw under the Argentine sealed their fate, having picked up just two points of the last 21 available.
There is nevertheless plenty of talent in this team, from Palmeiras centre-back Gustavo Gomez in defence to Newcastle star Miguel Almiron, the Romero twins Oscar and Angel and new sensation Julio Enciso, and a strong end to qualifying could give the nation hope for the future.
Predicted Paraguay starting XI: Silva; Rojas, Gómez, Alonso, Riveros; Ojeda; Sánchez, Cubas; Galarza, Óscar Romero, Almirón; González.
|Goalkeepers||Galindez, Ramirez, Pinos|
|Defenders||Preciado, Arreaga, Arboleda, Estupinan, Torres, Hincapie, Palacios, Castillo, Leon|
|Midfielders||Gruezo, Mendez, Mena, Plata, Moises Caicedo, Franco, Ibarra, Cifuentes, Rojas, Carcelen, Sarmiento, Cabezas|
|Forwards||Valencia, Estrada, Jordy Caicedo, Reasco|
Ecuador turned to another former Boca coach, Gustavo Alfaro, at the start of the 2022 qualifying campaign and the Argentine has overseen a fantastic Tricolor effort to leave them on the verge of Qatar.
DC United striker Michael Estrada has been one of the stars under Alfaro with five qualifying goals to date, while fellow young talents like Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, Piero Hincapie and Pervis Estupinaan also form part of an exciting generation which has revitalised the nation’s football.
Predicted Ecuador starting XI: Galindez; Castillo, Hincapié, Torres, Estupiñán; Méndez, Gruezo, Mena, Sarmiento; Valencia, Estrada.
Last five results
|Paraguay results||Chile results|
|Brazil 4–0 Paraguay (Feb 1)||Peru 1-1 Ecuador (Feb 1)|
|Paraguay 0–1 Uruguay (Jan 27)||Ecuador 1-1 Brazil (Jan 27)|
|Colombia 0–0 Paraguay (Nov 16 2021)||El Salvador 1–1 Ecuador (Dec 4 2021)|
|Paraguay 0–1 Chile (Nov 11 2021)||Chile 0-2 Ecuador (Nov 16 2021)|
|Bolivia 4–0 Paraguay (Oct 14 2021)||Ecuador 1-0 Venezuela (Nov 11 2021)|
|2/9/2021||Ecuador 2-0 Paraguay|
|24/3/2017||Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador|
|24/3/2016||Ecuador 2-2 Paraguay|
|26/3/2013||Ecuador 4-1 Paraguay|
|12/11/2011||Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador|