France and Paraguay exchanged goals in the final eight minutes as a run of three consecutive victories ended for Didier Deschamps's FIFA World Cup hopefuls.
Playing in front of a record crowd of 35,300 at the Stade de Nice, one of France's UEFA EURO 2016 venues, Les Bleus went ahead via Antoine Griezmann’s maiden international goal on 82 minutes. The hosts were unable to close out the game, however, and Victor Cacéres became the first player to score against France in 2014.
Deschamps made three changes from the lineup that defeated Norway 4-0 in Paris on Tuesday, bringing back former OGC Nice duo Hugo Lloris and Loïc Rémy, and finding a starting place for right-back Bacary Sagna. In contrast, the injured Karim Benzema, Raphaël Varane and Franck Ribéry – who is still suffering back pains – were all rested.
Rémy missed the target three times in a cagey first half an hour, while Blaise Matuidi forced goalkeeper Antony Silva into action from a low strike. As rain began to fall on 39 minutes, Rémy and Patrice Evra then beat the offside trap following a free-kick, only to get their wires crossed and spurn a clear chance.
As expected, Paraguay did their best to keep the game tight and pounce on the counterattack or from dead balls, and Miguel Samudio unleashed a free-kick that Lloris needed to turn wide. France stepped up their pressure towards the end and took the lead when substitute Griezmann made the most of a mix-up in the box to lift the ball into the corner. Moments later, though, Cacéres beat Lloris with a close-range header from a free-kick.
France will play their final warm-up game against Jamaica next Sunday at another UEFA EURO 2016 venue – the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille – before flying to Brazil, where they are due to tackle Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador in Group E.