Vera sets up Paraguay victory
Greece beaten as rival sides prepare for World Cup
Last Updated: 02/06/10 9:34pm
Vera: Opened the scoring
Paraguay defeated Greece 2-0 in Switzerland on Wednesday as both sides continued their preparations for the World Cup.
Gerardo Martino's side battled back to draw 2-2 against Ivory Coast on Sunday after going two goals down and they continued that momentum with two early goals here.
Enrique Vera opened the scoring inside nine minutes, following up after Roque Santa Cruz hit the bar.
And when another effort from the Manchester City striker was parried by keeper Alexandros Tzorvas, Lucas Barrios was on hand to fire home his third goal in as many appearances.
Greece striker Dimitris Salpingidis then had an effort ruled out for offside and Alexandros Tziolis and Georgios Samaras went close before half-time.
Paraguay keeper Justo Villar did well to save Vasilis Torosidis' curling effort and Tziolis volleyed wide, but thereafter Greece were quiet.
And the inspirational Santa Cruz, who had seen an effort cleared off the line by Giourkas Seitaridis at 0-0, was denied by another goal-saving intervention from Avraam Papadopoulos in the second half as Paraguay cruised to victory, the match ending with a lengthy spell of keep-ball from the South Americans.
The result will give Martino's men confidence ahead of their tournament opener against Italy on 14th June.
But it represents another setback for Greece following last Tuesday's 2-2 draw with North Korea, and they will have to find another gear ahead of another Asian assignment against South Korea in their first game in Group B.