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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Maldini accepts fate
Paraguay coach Cesare Maldini celebrates with Francisco Arce after the defender gave his side a 2-0 lead
Francisco Arce's goal gave Paraguay a 2-0 lead
Paraguay coach Cesare Maldini refused to condemn the referee after an injury-time winner denied his side victory over South Africa in Busan.

Maldini's men had to settle for a 2-2 draw after they conceded an injury-time penalty.

Paraguay took the lead when Roque Santa Cruz headed home Francisco Arce's free-kick and doubled their lead when Arce scored direct from a set piece.

But the Africans hit back when Estanislao Struway put through his own goal in the 62nd minute.

South Africa continued to peg Paraguay back as they chased the equaliser and their persistence was rewarded when referee Lubos Michel awarded a spot-kick in the 93rd minute.

Open Quote
We did very well for 45 minutes and then we just stopped
Close Quote
Paraguay coach Cesare Maldini

Paraguay keeper Ricardo Tavarelli brought down Sibusiso Zuma with a clumsy challenge and Quinton Fortune confidently thumped home the penalty.

Maldini dismissed suggestions that things would have been different had suspended keeper Jose Luis Chilavert been between the posts.

He said: "Did we miss him today? Absolutely not.

"I don't want to make a judgement on the referee.

"I am not disillusioned or disappointed but I did think we would win the game.

"We did very well for 45 minutes and then we just stopped."

Maldini also refused to be drawn on how the group would turn out, saying simply: "I think we are going to see a lot of surprises at this World Cup."


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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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