Cerro Porteño – Match Report vs. Nacional Asunción (22/11/2021)

Cerro Porteño managed to overcome a 1-0 deficit against Nacional Asunción in the 16th matchday in the Paraguayan league. In the end, Cerro Porteño beat Nacional 1-5. Cerro Porteño opted for a cautious playing style, letting Nacional build up patiently and not being aggressive in the pressing. When Cerro Porteño recovered possession they would sometimes choose for quick, vertical passes but in other situations, they would build up slowly. Carrascal, the defensive midfielder, played an important part in this.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Alexis Duarte

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Paraguayan
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 12/03/2000
  • Current club: Cerro Porteño
  • Career: Cerro Porteño
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred foot: Right

Alexis Duarte played on the left side of the defence in the match against Nacional Asuncion. The Paraguayan defender looked dominant throughout the match and his aggressive style of play really paid off. The 21-year-old Paraguayan stepped up a lot and closed down his opponent aggressively. The opponent did not get time on the ball and often was forced to play a risky, first-time pass forward or to simply play it back into midfield. Duarte was smart to not give away unnecessary fouls in these situations. It was very impressive how he did not get dribbled past a single time when stepping up.

It often happened that Alexis Duarte had to close gaps towards the wing after the right central defender, Patiño, got dragged out wide. This was always adequately solved by the 21-year-old. He looked quick on the first meters and long distance and was always on time. Even when sprinting he would always be able to look at the ball and react in time when the opponent tried playing a through pass or dribble past him. The mobility of Alexis Duarte was great and this really helped him throughout the match.

On the ball, Alexis Duarte did not take many risks, but his passing was more than adequate. His passing was consistent and strong. He played most passes to left-back Leonardo Rivas, but occasionally also managed to break lines with his passing. He rarely lost the ball. On one occasion he had the ball on the wing and he managed to get away from his opponent with quick feints and stepovers.

Concluding, I did not see any clear weaknesses in this match from Alexis Duarte and it will be interesting to focus on him in more-demanding matches.

Rating – A1

Alexis Duarte looked really impressive against Nacional. I watched Cerro Porteño play against Guarani as well, but did not really pay attention to Alexis Duarte as he is quite a well-known player in Paraguay. However, I am really impressed by his performance and I’m looking to watch him more often next season.

Leonardo Rivas

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Paraguayan
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 06/12/2001
  • Current club: Cerro Porteño
  • Career: Cerro Porteño
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Leonardo Rivas played as the left-back for Cerro Porteño in the away match against Nacional Asunción. The youngster had a decent match, but there is still room for improvement. The left-back looked steady on the ball and rarely put his foot wrong in possession. He sporadically had a bad touch, but in general, he controlled the ball really well and his passing was good. Rivas mainly played simple passes towards Alexis Duarte, Claudio Aquino or one of the two central midfielders.

Generally, Rivas had a cautious playing style in this match. He rarely stepped up in defence and did not make many runs in behind. However, there were quite some situations in which Rivas stayed in position when he should have made a run. Especially when Aquino dropped deep dragging the Nacional right-back out of position he should have made more runs in behind. It was extra disappointing that he failed to spot that space because he did really well when he made an overlapping run.

Leonardo Rivas did well to look over the ball before crossing the ball into the box and used his good kicking technique to pick out his teammates. He should have had one assist, but the effort of his teammate was cleared off the line. Rivas only seemed to use his left foot, but on the few occasions in which he used his right foot looked okay. In defence, Rivas stayed in line and always coached the midfield when a Nacional attacker dropped deep. He stayed close to Alexis Duarte and kept the centre closed.

Rivas left a lot of space for the winger who often provided width for Nacional. When the Nacional winger would receive the ball in wide areas, Rivas closed the opponent down but he did well to keep enough distance. He reacted quickly when the opponent changed directions and did not get dribbled past a single time, also because he did not get into those 1v1 duels often. Only sporadically, Leonardo Rivas failed to cut the passing lane when his opponent made a run in behind. This can happen occasionally, but he quickly got back into the duel.

The left-back had really good concentration and seemed determined to win. His stamina looked good and his pace and acceleration were OK. He definitely is not the quickest as he sometimes struggled to make overlapping runs when Aquino was carrying the ball forward down the line, but for now, his pace seems sufficient.

Rating – A2

This is the second time that I watched Leonardo Rivas and I am still not sure about his pace. As a left-back, he needs more acceleration and pace to succeed at a high level. His pace is good enough for lower-intensity leagues. I hope that he will become quicker in the near future, as he seems really good on the ball even though there is room for improvement.

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