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Miguel Almiron's impressive Copa America comes to an end after heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat; The Newcastle midfielder dazzled in Brazil but his Paraguay side were beaten on penalties by the host nation in the quarter-finals.

Byline: Sean McCormick

Miguel Almiron's impressive Copa America campaign was brought to an end during the early hours of the morning as Paraguay were beaten on penalties by Brazil.

Despite going down to 10 men thanks to West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena's red card, Paraguay held on to secure a 0-0 draw and a penalty shootout.

Paraguay's Gustavo Gomez missed Paraguay's first penalty in the shootout but Newcastle star, Almiron, dispatched his spot kick, sending Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson, the wrong way.

His Liverpool team-mate, Roberto Firmino, missed Brazil's fourth spot kick to level the tie, only for Derlis Gonzalez to miss Paraguay's fifth penalty.

It left Manchester City forward, Gabriel Jesus, with the chance to win it for the host nation and he duly tucked away his penalty to book Brazil's place in the semi-finals.

It was a mixed campaign for Paraguay, who qualified for the last eight as the second best third placed team in the group stages, butAlmironshone on the international stage.

The 25-year-old registered assists in both of Paraguay's draws against Qatar and Argentina, and was arguably their star man for the whole competition.

His performances have even reportedly attracted the attention of Spanish giants Real Madrid and the former Atlanta United star said it was an 'honour' to be linked.

Paraguay's defeat is good news forNewcastleas it means Almiron will return to pre-season earlier than they feared.

The former Lanus midfielder was a club record signing made by Rafa Benitez during the January transfer window but will have to an impress a new manager following the Spaniard's departure.

Elsewhere, Almiron's Newcastle team-mateChristian Atsuwill take part in his second Africa Cup of Nations match on Saturday when Ghana take on Cameroon. The Black Stars were held to a 2-2 draw with Benin in their opening game, with Atsu playing the whole 90 minutes.

Miguel Almiron responds to speculation linking Newcastle United forward with Real Madrid transfer

'I know Newcastle can play in the Europa League': Christian Atsu on why United should target Europe


Credit: 2019 Getty Images

Miguel Almiron of Paraguay fights for the ball with Philippe Coutinho and Allan of Brazil

Credit: 2019 Getty Images

Miguel Almiron of Paraguay celebrates after scoring his penalty during the shootout

Credit: 2019 Getty Images

Paraguay players despondent after penalty shootout defeat

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Jun 28, 2019
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