Paraguay’s new coach enthusiastic ahead of South African friendly

Paraguay's Oscar Romerotraining on June 6 2018, in Asuncion (Paraguay). EPA-EFE/Andrés Cristaldo

Paraguay’s Oscar Romerotraining on June 6 2018, in Asuncion (Paraguay). EPA-EFE/Andrés Cristaldo


Paraguay’s upcoming friendly with South Africa promises to be “productive,” the new coach of the South American side said Wednesday.

“I think it will be a good opportunity to compete. Ultimately, this match will be very productive for all of us.” Juan Carlos Osorio told reporters at Asuncion international airport before leaving for South Africa.

“For me personally, it will be perhaps the best opportunity to see the team - I repeat - competing, and certainly I will learn a lot about we’re going to do,” the Colombian said.

Regarding his plan for the Nov. 20 match against South Africa in Durban, Osorio said that he might go with a three- or four-man defense and three midfielders.

“Either way, we will be very flexible as we don’t know how the rival will set up, though I assume it will be an occasion for many lessons for everybody,” he said.

Osorio has called up 24 players for the friendly, which will mark Paraguay’s return to South African soil eight years after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup there.

The 57-year-old coach joined Paraguay in September and while his immediate task is to prepare for the 2019 Copa America in Brazil, the longer-term focus is on the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Paraguay hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since the 2010 tournament in South Africa.