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Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Sunday, 20 June 2010 18:11 UK

World Cup 2010: Paraguay confident of last 16 spot

World Cup 2010 highlights: Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay

Highlights - Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino is optimistic over his side's chances of reaching the last 16 after they swept aside Slovakia 2-0 to top Group F.

The South Americans now need only a point from their match against New Zealand to guarantee qualification.

Martino said: "What this victory will do is improve our spirit and make us mentally stronger.

"Our objective now it to make the last 16 and we have a good possibility of doing that."

Goals from Enrique Vera and Carlos Riveros gave Paraguay a deserved victory.

They outplayed Slovakia and never looked in danger of getting anything other than three points.


"We ran the match and our play in the first half was excellent," added Martino.

"Then we had some moments of uncertainty but nothing really to be concerned about."

Man of the match Vera is eager for his side to finish top of the group.

With Italy held to draws in their opening two games and New Zealand also on two points, Paraguay sit two points clear at the summit.

Goalscorer Vera said: "It was lucky that I could score. The first goal came at the best moment in the first half and then we wanted to keep possession of the ball and the second goal made us calm.

"We played a good match and we are getting closer to the round of 16.

"Our intention now is to be first in the group.

Roque Santa Cruz, who made up who made up a three-pronged attack alongside Lucas Barrios and Nelson Vladez, goes even further than that, with the Manchester City striker believing his nation can achieve a historic result.

"If we keep performing as well as we expect, and keep working hard, anything is possible," Santa Cruz reflected.

"Paraguay has never been in the World Cup quarter-finals, so that's the goal we set for ourselves.

"And once we get there, of course we want to keep doing better."

Riveros smashes home Paraguay's second

Riveros smashes home Paraguay's second

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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup day four photos
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup Photo Album
12 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010

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