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FIFA World Cup

Free State Stadium (ATT 26,633) 20th June 2010 - Kick off 12:30

Slovakia Slovakia vs Paraguay Paraguay

ft

Paraguay 2

E Vera (27)
C Riveros (86)

Paraguay too strong for Slovakia

Vera & Riveros shoot down Slovakia

Last Updated: 20/06/10 2:49pm

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Vera sets Paraguay on their way with the opener

Vera sets Paraguay on their way with the opener

Paraguay picked up their first win in Group F with a deserved 2-0 win over Slovakia in Bloemfontein.

Man of the match: Enrique Vera never stopped running and fired Paraguay in front with a composed finish shortly before the half-hour mark. Goal of the match: Jan Mucha was left flapping at thin air as Cristian Riveros wrapped things up late on with a crisply struck drive from the edge of the box. Save of the match: It took Slovakia 93 minutes to work Justo Villar, but he had to be alert to tip a stinging drive from Robert Vittek over the top. Moment of the match: From the off Slovakia lacked attacking endeavour and the result was only ever going to go one way once Vera broke the deadlock. Talking point: Should Paraguay be considered outsiders to make inroads in the tournament? Can Slovakia pull off a shock and see off Italy in their final group game?

Goals in each half from Enrique Vera and Cristian Riveros were enough to give the South Americans all three points and leave them well-placed to qualify from the group.

Paraguay dominated the first half and it was no surprise when they broke the deadlock on 26 minutes with a fine finish from Vera.

Riveros made the game safe four minutes from time with a fierce shot to leave Slovakia with an uphill battle of reaching the next round.

It is Slovakia's first appearance in the finals and they are heading for an early exit.

The team's only effort of note came in stoppage time when substitute Filip Holosko's shot was turned over the bar by goalkeeper Justo Villar.

Paraguay dictated the pace from the start and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz, who returned after a minor injury, came close to scoring twice.

He almost gave his side the lead in the third minute, his effort turned away at the post by Everton-bound goalkeeper Jan Mucha.

Then Nelson Valdez turned quickly but saw his effort go wide before play switched back down the other end. Marek Hamsik played the ball out to Jan Durica but he sent his shot over the bar.

Paraguay were having the majority of possession and Paulo Da Silva was only inches away from making contact at the back post following a free-kick by Claudio Morel.

Then Riveros drilled a shot from the edge of the area but Mucha was equal to it before Lucas Barrios was off target from an acute angle.

Slovakia again found themselves on the back foot in the 24th minute but Valdez fired wide.

Breakthrough

Paraguay's pressure paid on the 27th minute when they made the breakthrough. Barrios released Vera and he got the better of Durica to hook the ball home.

Slovakia hit back and Kornel Salata headed over the bar from inside the area in the 37th minute.

It proved brief respite, however, with Santa Cruz almost adding a second a minute later only for Mucha to boot the ball clear.

Slovakia tried to step up the tempo at the start of the second half but Paraguay looked well in control.

Vera should have scored his second goal of the game in the 72nd minute following a swift counter attack.

However he steered a header wide in front of the posts following a cross and some good skill from Santa Cruz, who was unhappy at some of his treatment from Liverpool's Martin Skrtel.

Then substitute Aureliano Torres saw his effort take a deflection off a Slovakia defender and finish high over the bar.

Paraguay extended their advantage in the 85th minute when Da Silva played the ball into Riveros and he curled a shot into the corner.

SlovakiaTeam StatisticsParaguay
0Goals2
01st Half Goals1
1Shots on Target5
3Shots off Target5
2Blocked Shots1
3Corners1
16Fouls18
3Offsides0
3Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
76.9Passing Success72.7
12Tackles21
75Tackles Success81
51.7Possession48.3
42.1Territorial Advantage57.9

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