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Almirón and Paraguay qualify for last eight

Miguel Almirón’s Paraguay qualified for the quarter-finals of the Copa América after Ecuador and Japan’s 1-1 draw on Monday night.

A win for either side would have eliminated Paraguay from the tournament, with La Albirroja having lost 1-0 to Colombia 24 hours earlier. However, the pair were forced to settle for a point apiece, with Ecuador’s Ángel Mena cancelling out Shoya Nakajima’s strike for Japan.

As a result, Almirón’s side are through to the last eight as one of the two best third-placed teams, having finished below the Colombians and Argentina in the competition’s Group B.

They will now face host nation Brazil for a place in the semi-finals. Paraguay – runners-up to Uruguay in 2011 – have not won the Copa since 1979.

Almirón has been a virtual ever-present for La Albirroja so far, starting in each of their three group games and supplying assists in two.

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