Vera strike lights up Paraguay

Slovakia 0 Paraguay 2

Paraguay overcame goal-shy Slovakia 2-0 thanks to two moments of real quality in Group F in Bloemfontein yesterday to move towards the World Cup second round. Well-taken goals from Enrique Vera and Cristian Riveros were too much for a toothless Slovakia side.

"We were good in defence, we did well in attack. It was a great match. We scored and we feel close to the round of 16," Vera said. The Paraguay coach, Gerardo Martino, added: "I think these results have strengthened us mentally, spiritually, not just as football players, especially in our attitude. We are getting closer to our objectives to make it to the final rounds."

Martino's opposite number, Vladimir Weiss, said: "We made two mistakes. It was a high quality opponent and their victory was deserved. We lost the match because we were not bold upfield. Paraguay didn't play as good as they can and still we lost."

Weiss had predicted a fast-paced match with Martino also bracing his side for some swift Slovak counter-attacks. However, there was little evidence of either, except for Vera lighting up the first half with his finish.

Paraguay's three-pronged attack had found space on the edge of the box and began to put it to good use when Lucas Barrios's delicate pass was met by the outside of Vera's right boot as he dispatched a curling effort into the net from 12 metres. The goal briefly sparked Slovakia into life. They had their best spell with defender Kornel Salata heading over from a corner after a long period of possession.

In the second half, the game slowed down even more and Slovakia's managed only one shot on target. Paraguay stretched their lead four minutes from time thanks to Riveros's sweet left foot. The midfielder, who joined Sunderland last month, collected Paulo da Silva's square ball on the edge of the box before sending it high past Jan Mucha.

South American teams have now won six and drawn two of the eight games they have played in the tournament so far. Paraguay have not gone beyond the second round in seven previous World Cup campaigns but having seen off both Argentina and Brazil in an impressive qualifying run, they just might fancy their chances of breaking that duck this time around.

Slovakia (4-4-2): Mucha, Pekarik, Skrtel, Salata (Stoch, 83), Durica, Sestak, Strba, Hamsik, Weiss, Kozak, Vittek (Holosko, 70).

Paraguay (4-1-3-2): Villar; Bonet, Alcaraz, Da Silva, Morel; V Cacares; Vera (Barreto, 87), Riveros, Torres; Barrios (Cardoza, 82), Haedo Valdez (Torres, 68).

Referee E Maillet (Seychelles).

Man of the match: Riveros.

Attendance: 26,643.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders