Paraguay faced increasing regional isolation on Monday after several of its neighbors said over the weekend they were pulling their ambassadors out of the country in the wake of the president's impeachment.
Going into the Copa America, we posed questions about the campaigns of the 10 South American sides. Now that the 43rd Copa America is history, we look back to find out if the tournament came up with the answers. (Listed from winners down to the teams eliminated in the group phase)
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- One figure has dominated this Copa America. The shadow of Sergio Markarian, the balding, bespectacled Peru coach who had such an influence on the philosophy of the sides who finished first, second and third, lurked in the background, but the man of the tournament was the tall, grey-haired figure with the limp who calmly wandered around shaking hands and exchanging hugs at fulltime in the final, as his players cavorted in one great mass of celebration.
On Tuesday night, Oscar Washington Tabarez limped across the pitch in La Plata and paused, his knee injury apparently making him wary of progressing too far on the sodden, uneven surface. He looked at his celebrating players as though determined to soak in the spectacle and as they slowly broke off to trot in to the dressing-room, each made a point of going over to him. Tabarez's second coming as national coach has already been glorious, but on Sunday it might get even better.
SAN JUAN, Argentina -- The full moon shone bright and white over San Juan, its domination of the chill sky seeming a symbol of the lunacy that took over the Copa America this weekend. The tournament -- perhaps any tournament -- has never known a series of quarterfinals like it, as the three group-winners and the hosts all crashed out. The machinations of the schedulers, who had done everything in their power to ensure a third successive Brazil-Argentina final, are left looking a little silly.
More than 10 years have passed since the last time a gaggle of fresh faces has caused such a fuss around the United States national team. Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and other members of the first residency class in Bradenton, Fla., began spicing up the national team scene late in 2000.
After holding Argentina to a 1-1 draw at the Meadowlands, the U.S. will face Paraguay at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Join Avi Creditor at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday for live instant analysis and web chat during the game.
More than 200 indigenous people who refused to vacate their land in eastern Paraguay were sprayed late last week with what some believe was pesticide, sending seven to the hospital, a government cabinet member said this week.
With South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup resuming next month, the top four positioned teams of the continent tested their strength in what ended up being worthwhile friendly matches on Wednesday. While Brazil, Argentina and Chile claimed hard-fought victories in Europe, Paraguay lost in Asia.
Let's assume that Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil are going to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. It seems a fair assumption -- it could well be that from the seven remaining rounds, just two victories will be good enough to get Paraguay over the line, and three plus a draw may well prove sufficient for the continent's traditional two powers.
All over South America, international squads are being called up as the continent's World Cup qualification campaign resumes after a 5½-month break. The 11th and 12th games for each nation are coming up in late March, followed by two more in June, two in September and the final two in October.
We're nearly halfway through the marathon campaign of South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and the past week of action has been one of the more wild and unpredictable so far. Here are five things we've learned after seeing all 10 countries in action:
Six decades of single-party rule in Paraguay came to an end on Sunday after Colorado Party candidate Blanca Ovelar conceded a loss to former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo, who claimed the historic win on his promise to help the poor.
Argentinians planning to travel to the northern part of the country, Brazil and Paraguay were lining up for vaccinations Tuesday, because of a yellow fever breakout that has killed at least 21 people in the region.
They are feared throughout South America for their fighting spirit, their teamwork and their aerial prowess. So it seems remarkable that, although the Paraguayan national team has made it to the last three World Cups, its players have been so slow to make an impact in the English Premier League.