New Zealand and Paraguay were left to share the spoils in their Group C opener at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma when Daisy Cleverley's 69th minute strike was cancelled out by Sheryl Barrios' 84th-minute header.
New Zealand and Paraguay were both desperate for a win in the group opener. The Oceania side entered the game carrying a six-match losing streak, while Paraguay had racked up three
defeats in their last three outings.
New Zealand started off on the attacking front after Paraguay failed to effectively clear from a corner kick, resulting in a narrow miss over the bar in the first minute.
Two minutes later Paraguay failed to keep possession in midfield when New Zealand's Daisy Cleverley won the ball and took a shot from 40 metres only to miss to the right.
The majority of the first half was played in midfield with neither side able to gain effective control of possession. In the 19th minute, Paraguay's Jessica Martinez got her team their first chance of the match with a powerful 16-metre shot missing only by a few centimetres.
The momentum swung from New Zealand to Paraguay after the Young Football Ferns lost concentration, giving up possession to Paraguay in dangerous areas.
Paraguay's Analia Torre almost punished New Zealand in the 25th minute with a 45-metre shot which sailed over the bar.
New Zealand exposed Paraguay's problems with defending corners when their final chance of the half came from a Martine Puketapu header that hit the post before the half-time whistle blew.
In the 54th minute, Martinez came close to giving Paraguay the lead with a chance inside the penalty area, but goalkeeper Emma Fulbrook blocked the shot. Paraguay's sloppy play in midfield in the first half was mirrored by New Zealand's sloppiness in defense in the second half. However, Paraguay were unable to capitalise on New Zealand's poor passing out of the back.
In the 69th minute, Cleverley broke the deadlock for the Young Football Ferns after beating three Paraguay defenders and scoring at the far post from about 16 metres out. The goal was her first in four appearances.
Cleverley's effort almost held up to give New Zealand all three points, however, a corner kick in the 84th minute for Paraguay found the head of Sheryl Barrios who was able rise the highest and equalise for the South Americans.
Player of the match: Daisy Cleverley (New Zealand)