Costa Rica, Paraguay wrangle to scoreless impasse

Action from the Copa America Centenario match between Costa Rica (red jersey) and Paraguay in Orlando, Florida, USA, on June 4, 2016. (Photo: Mexsport)

ORLANDO, Florida -- Costa Rica and Paraguay played to a 0-0 draw in the Copa America Centenario Group A opener on Saturday at Camping World Stadium.

The result leaves Colombia (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) in sole possession of first place on the strength of a 2-0 win over the host United States a day earlier.

In the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, Costa Rica’s Kendall Waston was issued a straight red card for a hard tackle on Nelson Valdez near midfield that impeded a counterattack. The 28-year-old will be suspended for Tuesday’s encounter with the U.S. in Chicago.

The Paraguayans produced the better chances in the first half of a match that generated only 10 total shots. Toluca center-back Paulo Da Silva came closest in the 14th minute, heading a Celso Ortiz pass wide of Patrick Pemberton’s goal.

Pemberton did well to thwart a subsequent header by another Paraguayan defender in 71st minute, preventing man of the match Gustavo Gomez from breaking the stalemate.

An effort from distance by Costa Rica’s Christian Bolaños was parried away by goalkeeper Justo Villar in the 87th minute, before Waston was dismissed.

Costa Rica was shutout for the fourth time in its last five Copa America matches dating back to 2004.

  • BUDWEISER MAN OF THE MATCH: Gustavo Gomez (Paraguay)