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Paraguay on verge of last 16 after coasting past Slovakia

| 20.06.2010

Paraguay are top of Group F – and within touching distance of the knockout stages – having won 2-0 against a pedestrian Slovakian side.

Paraguay dominated the match. Their high-octane, pressing style was too much for their timid opponents to contain, and the result was never in doubt.

Enrique Vera gave Paraguay a deserved lead after less than half an hour, as his wonderfully clipped finish with the outside of his right boot nestled into the far corner of the net.

New Sunderland signing Cristian Riveros sealed the victory in the second half when he made it 2-0 with an emphatic strike from 20 yards.

While Paraguay continued to press – Roque Santa Cruz forced two good saves from Slovakia goalkeeper Jan Mucha – Slovakia were tentative and unthreatening.

The result all but guarantees Paraguay’s progress to the round of 16, as their next opponents will be an overachieving – though still limited – New Zealand side.

And Slovakia look unlikely to trouble Italy in their final match, as the World Cup debutants have been unimpressive in both their matches in South Africa.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.