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Paraguay into knockout phase

2010-06-24 18:14

Polokwane - Paraguay qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup despite being held to a goalless draw by a well-organised New Zealand in their Group F match on Thursday.

In a largely forgettable first half, Paraguay enjoyed the better possession but were unable to translate that into real goalscoring opportunities.

The best two efforts came from skipper and right-back Denis Caniza with two long range efforts.

Paraguay knew that a point would be enough to see them into the second round and they showed little ambition to go beyond that minimum requirement while New Zealand defended well but lacked creativity going forward.

The first corner of the match did not come until the 62nd minute and it almost resulted in a goal with Cristian Riveros well saved by New Zealand keeper Mark Paston.

Paraguay brought on forwards Lucas Barrios and Edgar Benitez in a bid to liven up their attack and the move nearly paid off when, after the best move of the game, Benitez produced a curling shot that was pushed out.

New Zealand were still in the hunt for a place in the knockout stage though - knowing a win could send them through - and they brought on 18-year-old forward Chris Wood to give them some fresh legs in attack.

But still Paraguay produced the better chances with Roque Santa Cruz bringing a good save out of Paston from an 80th minute free kick.

Read more on: new zealand paraguay

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