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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
South Africa peg back Paraguay
Paraguay celebrate Santa Cruz's opener
Santa Cruz threatened a goal from the first minute
Paraguay 2-2 South Africa

An injury-time penalty from Quinton Fortune gave South Africa a draw against Paraguay in the Group B opener.

The South Americans built a two-goal lead through efforts from Roque Santa Cruz and Francisco Arce either side of the break.

GRAPHIC ANALYSIS

But they began to wobble when South Africa halved the Paraguayan advantage through an own-goal from Estanislao Struway.

And Bafana Bafana's comeback earned a point when Fortune scored from the spot after Paraguay keeper Ricardo Tavarelli brought down Sibusiso Zuma.

Despite playing with just one forward in Santa Cruz, Paraguay were the more effective side in attack.

And it was no surprise when the Bayern Munich striker put the South Americans ahead before the break.

South Africa had been warned of the 20-year-old's threat as early as the first minute.

Santa Cruz was unfortunate not to earn a penalty when he tumbled over goalkeeper Andre Arendse as he chased a through ball into the box.

Francisco Arce created Paraguay's first goal and scored the second
Francisco Arce is lethal with the dead-ball

And he might have been on the scoresheet sooner than he was had Lucas Radebe not made a crucial intervention and Arendse a fine low save from a header at his near post.

The goal eventually came from a 39th minute free-kick supplied by Arce, one of the game's finest strikers of the dead ball.

Arce had wasted little time in finding his range, producing a curling free-kick which required an acrobatic tip-over from Arendse.

The full-back's next effort produced a goal, as he whipped in a perfectly-flighted cross, beating Arendse for pace to allow Santa Cruz to head home at the far post.

South Africa offered little in reply, their main threat coming from the long range shooting of MacBeth Sibaya.

MATCH FACTS
32 mins: Arendse saves Santa Cruz's header
39: Santa Cruz scores from Arce's cross
55: Arce scores with a stunning free-kick
64: Struway deflects Teboho Mokoena's shot into his own goal
90: Fortune equalises from the penalty spot

The midfielder slid a 30-yarder narrowly wide in the fourth minute but otherwise his team-mates produced little to trouble Tavarelli early on.

However, Jomo Sono's men started the second half more brightly, with Sibusiso Zuma forcing a save from Tavarelli and shooting over in the opening minutes.

And they refused to buckle when Paraguay doubled their lead with another piece of brilliance from Arce.

The Brazil-based defender curled a superb free-kick in off the underside of Arendse's crossbar 10 minutes into the half.

Open Quote
We knew if we put pressure on them they would lose energy towards the end
Close Quote
Jomo Sono
South Africa coach

But South Africa were soon back in the game.

Mounting pressure culminated in Teboho Mokoena's shot being deflected into his own net by Struway.

That left Paraguay sweating and their decision to defend their lead in depth cost them dear.

South Africa went close through a Radebe header before Tavarelli made his rash challenge to concede the crucial penalty.

Manchester United's Fortune had never scored an international goal but confidently thumped home the spot-kick to spark South African celebrations.



Paraguay: Tavarelli, Arce, Gamarra, Ayala, Caceres, Caniza, Alvarenga (Gavilan 66), Acuna, Campos (Morinigo 72), Struway (Franco 86), Santa Cruz.
Subs Not Used: Baez, Bonet, Cardozo, Chilavert, Cuevas, Paredes, Sanabria, Sarabia, Villar.
Booked: Caceres, Caniza, Tavarelli, Franco.
Goals: Santa Cruz 39, Arce 55.

South Africa: Arendse, Nzama, Carnell, Aaron Mokoena, Radebe, Fortune, Sibaya, Tebeho Mokoena, Zuma, Issa (Mukasi 27), McCarthy (Koumantarakis 78).
Subs Not Used: Vonk, Lekgetho, Mngomeni, Mnguni, Pule, Nomvete, Buckley, Marlin, Pienaar, Molefe.
Booked: Aaron Mokoena, Issa, Radebe, Zuma.
Goals: Struway 64 og, Fortune 90 pen.

Att: 25,186
Ref: L Michel (Slovakia).


MATCH STATS
  Paraguay South Africa
Corners (1st half) 4 2
Corners (2nd half) 0 1
Fouls committed 15 22
Caught offside 4 0
Shots on target 7 8
Shots off target 5 5
Hit woodwork (back into play) 0 0
Yellow cards 4 4
Red cards 0 0
STOPPAGE TIME
First half - 2 mins Second half - 5 mins


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BBC Sport's Ed Harry
"South Africa deserved to equalise"
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GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0




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