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HomeSportsCopa America Centenario: Costa Rica sees red in ‘heated’ Paraguay stalemate

Copa America Centenario: Costa Rica sees red in ‘heated’ Paraguay stalemate

Two-times South American champions Paraguay was held to a goalless draw by Costa Rica in sultry conditions at the Citrus Bowl on Saturday in Group A of the Copa America Centenario.

Costa Rica sees-AVCosta Rica ended the game with 10 men after defender Kendall Waston was sent off in injury time for a wild challenge on Nelson Valdez.

The result leaves Colombia, who beat the United States in Friday`s opener, alone at the top of the group with three points.

Waston will be suspended for Costa Rica`s game on Tuesday against the United States in Chicago.

The intense heat and humidity (with the temperature at kick-off around 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius)) was blamed by both teams for what was, in the end, a disappointing spectacle in front of a disappointingly small crowd of 14,334.

Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz said it was “crazy” to have scheduled the match to be played at 5pm local (Eastern) time.

“The needs of players need to be taken into account they are the ones who put on the spectacle,” he told reporters.

Costa Rica forward Bryan Ruiz agreed saying: “The heat definitely affected the game; it could have been a much better game in different conditions.”

Given those conditions, both sides were wary over over-exerting themselves but it was Paraguay who got an early grip on possession

Striker Jorge Benitez, who plays his club football in Mexico for Cruz Azul, showed some excellent footwork to create space inside the box in the ninth and his low cross was almost turned into his own net by Costa Rica defender Celso Borges.

Paraguay went close again when Paulo Da Silva flashed a header wide after a well-timed run to meet a corner from Oscar Romero.

Costa Rica, quarter-finalists in the World Cup two years ago, played a more direct style, looking to find forwards Joel Campbell and Ruiz quickly, but they were unable to find much in the way of fluidity to their play.

Ruiz was a threat with a flashing header but it went straight into the arms of Paraguay`s veteran goalkeeper Justo Villar.

At the other end, Benitez won possession inside the Costa Rica half and showed great pace as he burst goal wards, but his right foot shot flashed wide of the post.

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