NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three days after they claimed an encouraging draw against Argentina, the United States fell short 1-0 against Paraguay on Tuesday night at LP Field.
Oscar Cardozo, who plays for defending Portuguese Liga Champion Benfica, sucked the wind out of the U.S. sails with an opportunistic strike in the 18th minute.
The Americans, who were without starting keeper Tim Howard and centerback Oguchi Onyewu, hoped to find goals from newcomers Timothy Chandler and teenage sensation Juan Agudelo.
However, the storyline was written by the South Americans, as they camped inside the U.S. end in the first fifteen minutes. Off a Paraguay corner, Cardozo took ahold of it, then beat veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, for the lead.
The Yanks opened the second stanza intent on leveling it. After improving in the possession department, the U.S. threatened often as the match was nearing its conclusion.
In the 84th minute, Sacha Kljestan sent a tempting cross into the box that fell fortuitously to Landon Donovan, who ripped it inches outside of the near post.
Minutes later, Michael Bradley sniffed the equalizer when he uncorked a shot from distance earmarked for the upper ninety. But Paraguayan keeper Justo Vilar, who went full extension, put a paw on it before it carried over the bar in the 86th minute.
Seconds before the final whistle, Jermaine Jones launched the Yanks’ last chance to equalize. Once again, Vilar stood stout and kept the sheet clean to give his country the 1-0 victory.