Paraguay took a big step toward a
place in the last 16 with a stylish victory over a sluggish Slovakia that
lifted them to the top of Group F.
A fine goal by Enrique Vera, curled
in with the outside of his boot, gave the South Americans the lead and Carlos
Riveros made the game safe with a brilliant late strike.
With a final group match against
unfancied New Zealand to come, they must now be confident of reaching the
knockout stages. For Slovakia, their inability to raise their game has left
them facing an early exit – particularly as they end their group fixtures
against reigning champions Italy.
Two draws in the opening matches
had left the group finely poised and Paraguay took the chance to assume control
by deservedly clinching their first win.
It was achieved by a textbook
execution of a high-pressing game and by maximising the attacking options from
their 4-3-3 formation.