SANTA FE, Argentina, July 3, 2011 (AFP) - Paraguay and Ecuador fought out a goalless stalemate in Group B of the Copa America on Sunday, as did their rivals Brazil and unfancied Venezuela.
A tight match saw neither side able to make a breakthrough before a 40,000 crowd at Santa Fe's Brigadier Estanislao Lopez stadium on a cold, wintry evening.
Gerardo Martino's Paraguay had gone into the encounter as favourites having shown some impressive form in qualifiers for last year's World Cup, but their forward line of German-based Lucas Barrios and Blackburn man Roque Santa Cruz was unable to make their greater experience of the big occasion count.
Both gave way in the closing stages to Nelson Haedo and Pablo Zeballos.
Ecuador gave a solid, if unimaginative, account of themselves although Manchester United man Antonio Valencia only lasted until the interval.