World Cup 2010 - Paraguay too strong for Slovakia

Eurosport - Sun, 20 Jun 14:27:00 2010

Paraguay took control of World Cup Group F with an impressive 2-0 victory over Slovakia at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

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Enrique Vera opened the scoring after 27 minutes and Cristian Riveros settled the match four minutes from time as the South American countries continued their unbeaten run in South Africa.

Paraguay now have four points with world champions Italy and New Zealand, who play in Nelspruit later today, and Slovakia all on one point.

The South Americans had five shots in the opening 25 minutes so it was no surprise when they took the lead through a delightful finish from Vera.

Lucas Barrios produced a lovely reverse pass through the legs of Kornel Salata and the Atlas midfielder curled the ball with the outside of his boot past Jan Mucha despite the attentions of the sliding Jan Durica.

It was no more than Paraguay had deserved with Mucha having earlier tipped Roque Santa Cruz's deflected shot from 20 yards over the top and having saved a powerful drive from Riveros.

Mucha, who has signed a pre-contract deal with Everton, then prevented his side from going further behind as he denied Santa Cruz with his outstretched right foot after Vera had nipped in ahead of Kornel Salata.

Slovakia mustered just one attempt on goal in the opening 45 minutes and it was a free header for Salata but he was unable to keep his header down from 10 yards.

Paraguay had chances to extend their lead after the break.

Some one touch passing released Santa Cruz down the left and his cross was met by Vera whose downward header was just past the post and a decent effort from substitute Aureliano Torres from 25 yards was not too far over the top.

It was Torres who played a part in the second as Sunderland new boy Riveros made the game safe with a thunderous strike from 18 yards.

Torres's free-kick fell to another adopted Wearsider Paulo Da Silva who squared to Riveros who beat Mucha for power.

Slovakia have never recorded a win against South American opposition and it was only in injury-time that they called Justo Villar into making a save, the Paraguay skipper tipping Robert Vittek's drive from 20 yards over the top.

And now the World Cup debutants will need to beat Italy in their final match if they are to progress to the last 16.

Match Facts

Slovakia v Paraguay

Goals 0-2

1st Half Goals 0-1

Shots on Target 1-5

Shots off Target 3-5

Blocked Shots 2-1

Corners 3-1

Fouls 16-18

Offsides 3-0

Yellow Cards 3-1

Red Cards 0-0

Passing Success 76.9%-72.7%

Tackles 12-21

Tackles Success 75%-81%

Possession 51.7%-48.3%

Territorial Advantage 42.1%-57.9%

Lee Walker / Eurosport

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