World Cup 2010, Paraguay Vs. Slovakia: 2-0 Win Puts Paraguay Top In Group F

A late Cristian Riveros goal put the match away, but with the Slovaks failing to threaten until injury time, when they were already down two, there may have never been a match to put away. Paraguay went up in the 27th minute through Enrique Vera and, after that, were never threatened.

With their 2-0 victory, Paraguay sits at the top of Group F, holding four points ahead of an Italy-New Zealand match that could see one of their group counterparts pull even. Slovakia remains on one point and, facing Italy in their last match of the group, are now unlikely to go through to the knockout stage.

It’s a state of affairs for which Slovakia can only blame themselves. Paraguay used their switch to a three striker formation to exert constant pressure on the Slovakia back line. In addition to seeing their defenders respond poorly, Slovakia failed to respond. Coach Vladimir Weiss’s first substitution came in the 70th minute, a like-for-like chance that swapped forwards.

As a result, Slovakia went the match’s ninety minutes with only one shot on goal: a 92nd minute attempt from 19 yards out by Robert Vittek.

The result leaves Paraguay with four point through what was thought to be their two toughest matches. A draw against New Zealand next Thursday will put them into the knockout stage.

Slovakia is in the opposite situation. They have played what were thought to be their two easiest matches. They take on defending world champions Italy on Thursday needing a win to have a chance to advance.

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