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Paraguay faced Slovakia in the first matchup at Bloemfontein. All four teams in Group F entered Sunday's action tied with one point each, so the winner in this matchup would take the first step toward the knockout stage.
And the South Americans took that first stride...27 minutes into the match.
Enrique Vera got the ball at the point and drove it into the net...1-0 Paraguay. Vera scored despite getting spilled on the attempted tackle. He got the ball past Slovakia's Jan Mucha for the goal and the lead.
Slovakia almost scored with a solid chance at 36 minutes. Off the corner
kick...Kornel Salata headed the ball over the bar.
Two minutes later, Paraguay came right back with a chance of its own. But this time, Mucha made a clinical stop in goal. He foiled star Roque Santa Cruz with a right-footed stab. Slovakia went into the locker room trailing 1-0.
Second half...Vera almost scored his second for Paraguay. Santa Cruz provided the pass, but Vera's header went wide....but the South Americans seemed to dominate end-to-end in this match.
85th minute...Paraguay's Cristian Riveros succeeded where Vera failed. Some close-range passing ended with Rivero's drive for the 2-0 lead. It was similar to the first goal. Rivero hit it from almost the exact same spot, just 12 meters out from the target. Paraguay...trying to get the 6th win out of 8 tries for the South American teams in the World Cup finals so far.
Slovakia finally got its best chance in added time. But Paraguay's Justo Villar make an acrobatic stop. Robert Vittek shot a bullet toward the top of the net, but Villar was right on the spot for the great one-handed save. Paraguay beats Slovakia 2-0.
|Paraguay faced Slovakia in the first matchup at Bloemfontein. All four teams in |
Group F entered Sunday's action tied with one point each, so the winner in this
matchup would take the first step toward the knockout stage.