Paraguay come from behind to qualify to the next round
Paraguay, who secured a 3-2 win against Mali in their last tie, made one change in their side which contested against New Zealand on Monday evening as striker Fernando Cardozo replaced Antonio Galeano who slotted a goal against Mali on the opening day of the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 India. On the other hand, New Zealand coach Danny Hay was forced to change his plans following the suspension of captain Max Mata following his two yellow cards. Joshua Rogerson and Willem Ebbinge were introduced to the side in defense and attack respectively.
Paraguay kicked off the proceedings in the best way possible by scoring the opening goal in the very first minute. It was Alan Rodriguez, who from a free-kick delivered a cross which found the back of the net perfectly.
However, their lead didn’t last long enough as skipper Alexis Duarte was guilty of conceding an own goal in the 20th minute which leveled things up. It was a bad day at the office for Duarte who conceded his second own goal of the tie around the half-hour mark which put the South Americans trailing by a goal, a side which had taken the lead in the opening minute of the game.
The sore at half time was 2-1 with New Zealand leading.
The second half kick-started on a similar note as the former half with Paraguay in their quest of finding the much-needed equalizer and New Zealand trying to contain the score. Around the one hour mark, Charles Spragg of New Zealand got his head to the ball but the delivery, from the centre of the box, was too high as it missed the target.
New Zealand, who were living on the edge, finally fell prey to their opponents as Anibal Vega struck twice in two minutes to take Paraguay to a 3-2 lead. In the dying moments of the game, Paraguay added another goal, this time netted by Blas Armoa to make it 4-2.
Paraguay has qualified to the Round of 16 with one game left as they have already salvaged 6 points from 2 matches and has a goal difference of +3.
The Kiwis on the other hand are in the 3rd place with 1 ppoint and a GD of -2.