Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, South Africa

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura | Attendance: 34850

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  • 95'

    Don't forget to join us later for the climax to Group E. To get you in the modd why not read our previews for Denmark v Japan and Holland v Cameroon.

  • 95'

    As for Paraguay, they will need to show much more urgency and passion in the second round. They were one-paced and poor this afternoon, at odds with their decent showings in the previous two games. They should face Japan or Denmark in the last 16, if Holland top that group, and they can fancy their chances if they up their game.

  • 95'

    As for our game, New Zealand have had a brilliant tournament. I just wonder if they will regret not throwing men forward sooner. They may as well have lost 3-0 than 0-0. Ultimately, they just didn't have the attacking quality to open up defences regularly. I've loved watching them though. Great credit to Ricky Herbert and his men.

  • 95'

    The Italians trudge off the field in a daze but the Slovakians are going absolutely nuts! An unbelievable story.

  • 95'

    FULL-TIME Italy are out! And not only that, they have finished bottom of their group!

  • 95'

    What a chance for Italy! Pepe had a shot for glory at the back post and he's shinned it wide! The Italians can't believe it!

  • 94'

    Last chance for Italy as they get a throw-in...

  • 94'

    FULL-TIME Paraguay are through as group winners and New Zealand's World Cup dream is over.

  • 93'

    It looks like NZ's brave run is coming to an end. What a brilliant tournament for them.

  • 92'

    Italy have pulled one back! They have two minutes to find an equaliser!

  • 91'

    Throw in for NZ up near the edge of the box.

  • 90'

    So, Slovakia are going through as it stands and NZ are being penned back by Paraguay.

  • 89'


  • 88'

    Caniza puts in a decent cross but Santa Cruz meets it as he is falling backwards and it goes behind.

  • 87'

    Wood slides in to meet Bertos's cross but the big man was offside.

  • 86'

    Bertos slammed the ball into the area for NZ but Caniza blocks. Then Paston has to be alert to prevent Barrios getting to the ball.

  • 85'

    Italy have the ball in the net but it is ruled out for offside. Replay says awful decision!

  • 84'

    This group is on a knife edge. If New Zealand score, they are going through, but if Italy level against Slovakia then they will qualify.

  • 83'

    Bertos crosses and Wood meets it but can't direct it on target. NZ have to go all out for it now. Surely.

  • 82'

    Paraguay are getting closer as Barrios nods wide from a decent cross.

  • 81'

    ITALY SCORE! Di Natale pulls a goal back but is it too little too late? If Italy get another they will go through.

  • 81'

    Santa Cruz forces Paston into a half decent save.

  • 80'

    Santa Cruz wins a free-kick now and Paraguay line it up 30 yards from goal. their long range shooting has been woeful to this point, but....

  • 79'

    Killen is off and Brockie is on for NZ.

  • 78'

    Now Paston parries away from the onrushing Santa Cruz as Reid vied with him.

  • 77'

    As things stand, Slovakia are heading through in second place but a New Zealand goal changes all that. Why aren't they pouring forward then?

  • 76'

    A let off for NZ as Benitez forces Paston into a low save and it looks for all the world as if Barrios will finish it off but the 'keeper gets a vital touch to the loose ball.

  • 75'

    Paraguay to win, with bet365  
    New Zealand to win, with bet365  

  • 75'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Lucas Barrios has three goals and two assists in five games for Paraguay.

  • 74'

    Sensational news from Joburg. the World champions are about to get the wooden spoon in a group involving Paraguay, New Zealand and Paraguay. Would you credit it?

  • 73'

    Vittek scores again and Italy are going home in absolute disgrace! Astonishing!

  • 72'


  • 71'

    One goal for New Zealand and they will go top of the group. Surely incentive to push forward and commit more men?

  • 70'

    Vicelich goes down under a forearm from Caceres, who has been booked. He has to be careful.

  • 69'

    Now Slovakia have a great chance to punish Italy but Stoch blasts wide.

  • 68'

    Time for New Zealand to make a chance and it is the teenager Chris Wood, of West Brom, who is on for Fallon.

  • 67'

    Barrios gets an early chance to test Paston but he wildly blasts over. In Joburg, Slovakia clear off the line as Italy press.

  • 66'

    The disappointing Cardozo goes off and Barrios comes on. Valdez also makes way for Benitez.

  • 65'

    Unlucky for Bertos, who surrenders by the corner flag.

  • 64'

    Perhaps NZ are waiting until the last 15 minutes to really have a go at this, given their obvious concerns about conceding?

  • 63'

    Looks like Paraguay are going to be making the first change.

  • 62'

    A chance! A real chance! Caniza's dink from the corner is flicked at goal by Caceres and Paston makes a good save.

  • 61'

    A corner! Wow, calm down lads....

  • 60'

    Paraguay to win, with bet365  
    New Zealand to win, with bet365  

  • 60'

    Nelson Valdez tries a tired pass through to Cardozo. Paraguay have been terrible. NZ at least have an excuse.

  • 59'

    Paston hacks clears a rather fierce back pass from Reid before giving his defender an ear bashing.

  • 58'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz has created three goalscoring chances in this match so far; he had created only one in his previous 111 minutes during this World Cup.

  • 57'

    Cardozo's left-footed effort is poor. Oh so poor. We are crying out for a slice of quality in this game.

  • 56'

    That was a clash made in the Premier League as Blackburn's Ryan Nelsen chops down Man City's Roque Santa Cruz. A card for the Kiwi skipper.

  • 55'

    No early breakthrough in the other game, though Italy look a little better now.

  • 54'

    Better from NZ, who are definitely committing more numbers forward, but Killen's pass is loose and Caceres clears.

  • 53'

    Nelson Valdez finds himself outnumbered.

  • 52'

    As the free-kick is cleared Vera tries another ridiculously ambitious shot from range when he had numbers aplenty in the box. Really poor decision.

  • 51'

    Valdez grapples with Reid and wins a free-kick.

  • 50'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Paraguay have never won their World Cup group.

  • 49'

    Looks like NZ are operating a front three of sorts and pushing higher up the pitch in general. They are the ones that need to dictate the pace of the game.

  • 48'

    Elliott gets a sight of goal from 20 yards but he was leaning as he hit it and it flashes past the post. Promising for the Kiwis though.

  • 47'

    As it stands, New Zealand are going out. They need a win if Slovakia beat Italy. If Italy draw level, then they would go into second place. Remember, if both results are the same, then Italy and Nz would have to draw lots.

  • 46'

    We begin again...

  • 45'

    Paraguay to win, with bet365  
    New Zealand to win, with bet365  

  • 45'

    New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz tries to manufacture an opening.

  • 45'

    Stat Attack: Shane Smeltz of New Zealand was only the fifth player ever to score a goal against Italy in the first 10 minutes of a World Cup match last time out.

  • 45'

    We need to see much more urgency from the Kiwis after half-time, because there will be more goals in Joburg as Italy chase the game. I'm not sure they know how to open up and play a more expansive game though. Paraguay seem content to settle for a draw.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME Well, precisely nothing has happened in that half, apart from the odd booking. As it stands, Paraguay will still finish top, but New Zealand will finish third.

  • 45'

    One minute added. One minute too many in my opinion. Sorry Paraguay or New Zealand fans, but this has been painful.

  • 44'

    Awful free-kick, awful half. Blow the whistle ref and let the Kiwis realise that they need to win this game, not just draw.

  • 43'

    NZ free-kick. They load the box.

  • 42'

    Looks like Gattuso has sliced someone's leg open in the Italy game. That looked very nasty.

  • 41'

    Santa Cruz is penalised for a little clip, then a stamp on Bertos I think it was.

  • 40'

    Well, these opening 40 minutes have dragged by as if I was on death row. It's like the first round matches all over again.

  • 39'

    Roque Santa Cruz and Tony Lochhead vie for the ball.

  • 38'

    Cardozo finally get some space to run into but he elects to blaze a shot over the bar instead. Too shot-happy the Paraguayans so far.

  • 37'

    Santa Cruz chases down a long ball but Nelsen clears comfortably.

  • 36'

    Simon Elliott is furious, and he's every reason to be as the ref punishes him for nothing. He'd nipped the ball away from Riveros and Nz were off, then the official intervened. Is this not a contact sport anymore?

  • 35'

    Valdes has a go and hits the target but Paston is right behind it.

  • 34'

    Slovakia go close again at Ellis Park. Italy look ropey.

  • 33'

    Nelson Valdez battles with Ivan Vicelich

  • 32'

    Now Killen is accused of an elbow as he went up to challenge Caceres. This is a South American tactic I think.

  • 31'

    Nice work from Bertos, who has impressed me so far, but though Morel handles the ball it out of play it is just a throw in.

  • 30'

    Paraguay to win, with bet365  
    New Zealand to win, with bet365  

  • 30'

    Santa Cruz is dumped out of play by Reid but doesn't get a free-kick. Is it me, or is he a distinctly average player these days?

  • 29'

    That's better from NZ as Fallon and Killen combine but the latter's cross is grabbed by Villar on his line.

  • 28'

    Denis Caniza has his fourth shot from distance in the game. I think his team-mates are getting a little cheesed off with his repeated attempts at long-range glory.

  • 27'

    The two coaches shake hands - I presume they must have exchanged words or some such.

  • 26'

    At the moment, the World champions are heading for the wooden spoon. I wonder if news has filtered through to the Kiwi players yet? Don't forget, there is a live table at the bottom right of this page. We are clever aren't we?

  • 25'

    So, that goal means Slovakia leap into second place, and as it stands, would go through at the expense of New Zealand. Time to push on Kiwis!

  • 24'

    SLOVAKIA SCORE! Vittek has rocked the World champions!

  • 23'

    ESPN Stats & Info: 5 players on the New Zealand team have yet to receive a pass. As a team, they have only attempted 36 total compared to Paraguay's 98.

  • 22'

    Not too much action to report from the other game either. It'll burst into life at some point, fret ye not.

  • 21'

    ESPN stats & info: Paraguay are unbeaten in their last five World Cup meetings against non-European sides (three wins and two draws).

  • 20'

    New Zealand are content to sit and soak up pressure as they have done to date. Set pieces are key for them.

  • 19'

    Stat Attack: The difference in FIFA ranking between New Zealand (#78) and Italy (#5) was the largest ever by an underdog that gained a win or draw in a World Cup match. (The FIFA rankings were introduced in 1992.)

  • 18'

    Paraguay have started to assert their authority here. They get two shots off on goal in quick succession but neither are on target.

  • 17'

    Paraguay, perhaps having seen the elbows flying around from Rory Fallon in the Italy game, are already making the most of any contact they get. Pathetic pay-acting has been the most disappointing aspect of this World Cup for me so far.

  • 16'

    A cracking run down the left from Valdez but his cross is too high for Santa Cruz.

  • 15'

    Paraguay to win, with bet365  
    New Zealand to win, with bet365  

  • 15'

    ESPN stats & info: New Zealand have only won three of their last 17 internationals, drawing five and losing nine.

  • 14'

    As the free-kick is cleared to the edge of the box, Caniza pokes a rather feeble shot well wide of the post.

  • 13'

    Killen gets a telling off for grabbing hold of Morel. Paraguay free-kick.

  • 12'

    Stat Attack: Paraguay advanced from group play in both 1998 and 2002, but had the misfortune to face one of the eventual finalists in the second round in both years, losing to France in 1998 and Germany in 2002, both by a 1?0 scoreline.

  • 11'

    A deep free-kick from Lochhead nearly finds Killen at the back post.

  • 10'

    Fallon is caught by Victor Caceres, who rakes a boot down the Kiwi's calf. He's carded, and will miss the next match.

  • 9'

    Neat approach play from NZ but Fallon crossed for Smeltz when he had Bertos overlapping in space on the right. He chose the wrong option.

  • 8'

    Some woeful passing from Paraguay. This game has started in very edgy fashion.

  • 7'

    Vera gets down the left but can't win a corner off Lochhead.

  • 6'

    Slovakia already causing problems for Italy as Marek Hamsik scuffs a shot wide when he should have done a lot better.

  • 5'

    As I type that Shane Smeltz cuts inside and has a pop from the edge of the box but it sails high and wide past Villar's net.

  • 4'

    A scrappy start, it is fair to say.

  • 3'

    ESPN stats & info: The only previous encounter between these two sides ended in a 3-2 win for Paraguay in 1995.

  • 2'

    The All Whites are in all black today, just to confuse everyone.

  • 1'



    The anthems are belted out with gusto and we are all set...


    The prize for topping this group will more than likely be to avoid Holland in the second round games. Paraguay would face either Japan or Denmark if they topped the group.


    Our commentator has just called New Zealand the "surprise side," which is a strange way to put it, but accurate nonetheless. They are battlers for sure, but if Paraguay get at them, surely they can open them up?


    Slovakia have to beat Italy to qualify, which seems unlikely, then hope that Paraguay beat New Zealand. Your head is probably rotating on its axis like mine thinking about it, but we will keep you bang up to date as we go along, fear not.


    Right, the permutations. Whoever wins this game, is through basically, and if Italy win, then they will also go through. If there is a draw, then Paraguay will definitely go through, and the Kiwi's might depending on the Italy result. If there are two draws, we may be into drawing lots territory.


    As for Paraguay, they make three changes to the team that disposed of Slovakia. Out go Antolin Alcaraz, Carlos Bonet and Lucas Barrios and in come Denis Caniza, Julio Cesar Caceres and striker Oscar Cardozo.


    Let's start with the easy bit first - the team news. New Zealand are unchanged from that historic draw with the World champions, but they realistically need to win to go through I reckon. Can they cope with making the pace?


    Afternoon all and welcome to live coverage of New Zealand versus Paraguay in Polokwane. Slovakia and Italy meet at the same time and Tom Adams has that one for you here. Group F is tantalisingly poised, and all four teams can still go through. You may need a degree in quantam physics to fully grasp the permutations though.


    Join us at 1400 GMT to see if New Zealand can create history and make it through.



Goal Shot Video
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Paraguay

  • 17(5)

  • 20

  • 13

  • 58%


  • New Zealand

  • 4(0)

  • 22

  • 19

Match Stats

  • Paraguay
  • New Zealand
17(5) Shots (on goal) 4(0)
13 Fouls 19
2 Corner kicks 0
0 Offsides 2
58% Time of Possession 42%
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 5

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