Paraguay opened the scoring from a free kick on 39 minutes when defender Antolin Alcaraz took advantage of some poor Italian marking in the box and headed home from close range. Fabio Cannavaro and Danielle De Rossi seemed confused as to who should have been marking the Paraguayan center back. The goal came slightly against the run of play as Italy seemed to be controlling the pace of proceedings and looked destined to find their way through a shaky Paraguayan defense, though Italy were visibly rattled by the Paraguayan goal.
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was substituted at half-time for a hamstring injury by Federico Marchetti and the 59th minute introduction of Mauro Camoranesi seemed to lift the Italian tempo a bit. It was from a mistake by the Paraguayan goalkeeper Justo Villar which allowed Danielle De Rossi to bump home from close range on a corner kick.
Serie A’s top scorer last season, Antonio Di Natale, was introduced with just under 20 minutes left and he tried to get involved immediately creating space for the Italians down both flanks as Italy chased the winning goal. Paraguay seldom threatened the Italian goal in the second half.
The Italians defended typically well for the most part and many may feel that a draw was a bit harsh on the defending champions considering their domination of possession for most of the game. Simply put, Italy did not create enough chances in the final third of the pitch.
Buffon (replaced by Marchetti at halftime)
Marchisio (replaced by Camoranesi in the 59th minute)
De Rossi (goal in 63rd minute)
Gilardino (replaced by Di Natale in the 72nd minute)
Alcaraz (goal in 39 th minute)
Torres (replaced by Santana in the 60th minute)
Lucas (replaced by Cardozo in the 76th minute)
Valdez (replaced by Santa Cruz in the 68th minute)
Caceres, 62nd minute
Camoranesi, 70th minute