LIMA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Paraguay began their attempt to qualify for a fourth successive World Cup by holding Peru to a 0-0 draw away from home on Saturday.
A fast and furious World Cup qualifier produced plenty of
openings with Paraguay missing a flurry of chances on the break
late in the game.
Juan Vargas wasted an early opportunity for Peru, who last
played at the World Cup in 1982, when he fired over after
Claudio Pizarro had pulled the ball back.
But Paraguay had the best chance of the first half when
Salvador Cabanas escaped his marker at a free kick but volleyed
over from six metres.
The game produced a succession of chances around the hour
Vargas nearly gave Peru the lead when he met Nolberto
Solano's crossfield pass with a full-blooded volley which
struck the far post.
Paraguay replied by forcing two good saves from Leao
Butron, the first from a fierce Cabanas drive and the second to
deny Nelson Haedo Valdez after he broke clear of the Peru
As Peru poured forward, Paraguay became more dangerous on
the counter attack.
Substitute Oscar Cardozo wasted two chances, on both
occasions breaking down the left but sending his shot across
the face of Butron's goal.
Enrique Vera also squandered a chance when he broke down
the right but shot over instead of passing to the unmarked
Peru were again saved deep into stoppage-time when Cristian
Benitez's goalbound shot was inadvertently blocked by one of
his own team mates on the line.