FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017
Paraguay fight back again to reach last 16
09 Oct 2017
- *Paraguay first team to guarantee place in Round of 16 *
**Two goals for Anibal Vega, two own goals from Alexis Duarte
- Paraguay face Turkey in Navi Mumbai, New Zealand take on Mali in New Delhi in final group games
For the second match running, Paraguay scored late goals to come out on top in a high-scoring thriller, this time beating New Zealand 4-2 to qualify for the knockout rounds with a game to spare at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
Anibal Vega was the hero for the South Americans, bagging a three-minute brace in the second half, which papered over a first-half nightmare for Alexis Duarte, who was unfortunate to score two own goals in a 14-minute stretch.
It was lined up to be a more simple evening for the Paraguayans after they went ahead in the second minute through Alan Rodriguez's speculative long free-kick, but Duarte’s night went bad in the 20th minute and got worse from there, as the Kiwis pressed into the attacking third.
Stunned to be behind, Los Guaranies spurred to life as the second half wore on, and Julio Baez just skimmed the crossbar in the 69th minute. Vega’s decisive goals were both created with aplomb by Leonardo Sanchez, and Blas Armoa finished the entertaining contest with another tally from a speculative long ball a minute into stoppage time.