Bolivia picks up first victory, beats Paraguay 3-1
Bolivia defeated Paraguay 3-1 behind two goals from Pablo Escobar to pick up its first victory in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup on Saturday.
Alcides Pena broke through in the 10th minute on a 15-meter strike.
Escobar, who was born in Paraguay but nationalized Bolivian, wrapped up the victory in the 70th, breaking down the left side and slashing home the decider from 20 meters. He got his second in the 80th, chipping in a cross from short range.
Christian Riveros scored in the 82nd for Paraguay, which was outplayed in the thin air of La Paz, which is at 3,600 meters (11,800 feet). Paraguay spent several weeks training at the altitude, making the loss even more disappointing.
''Bolivia played its best game, despite using some new players,'' Bolivia coach Gustavo Quinteros said. ''Getting the first goal was a key to control the match.''
Both teams are struggling. Bolivia has four points in six matches, and Paraguay has four in five.
Bolivia: Sergio Galarza, Cristian Vargas, Rony Jimenez, Gabriel Valverde, Jose Carlos Barba, Alejandro Chumacero, Walter Flores, Gualberto Mojica (Jose Luis Chavez, 70), Pablo Escobar (Rudy Cardozo, 88), Alcides Pena, Marcelo Martins (Augusto Andaveris, 86).
Paraguay: Justo Villar, Ricardo Mazacotte, Adlaberto Roman, Paulo Da Silva, Aureliano Torrez, Eduardo Aranda (Hernan Perez 75), Eric Ramos (Edgar Benitez, 55), Christian Riveros, Osvaldo Martinez, Pablo Zeballos (Luis Caballero, 66), Nelson Haedo Valdez.