WC2010 review: Paraguay

Paraguay would be rated as the surprise packet of South Africa 2010, recording their best-ever finish at the World Cup finals.

In seven previous attempts, the South Americans did not finish better than the Round of 16 but they took it to a new level under Gerardo Martino, going down to eventual champions Spain 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

Plenty of the Paraguayan players have since been linked with clubs in Europe including Victor Caceres and Nelson Valdez and Cristian Riveros has already signed with Sunderland indicating that their showing in South Africa did not go unnoticed.

They managed to top their group with one win and two draws and then held their nerve in a penalty shootout against Japan which put them into the quarters and an eventual seventh-place finish which was very unexpected by the world football community.

Finished: 7th
Record: Wins – 2; Draws – 2; Losses – 1; Points – 5
Matches: Italy (1-1), Slovakia (0-2), New Zealand (0-0), RO16-Japan (0p-0), QF-Spain (0-1)
Goals: 4
Against: 2

tribalfootball.com’s Star Man
Paulo da Silva (He was a rock in central defence for Paraguay and was the main contributing factor to them conceding just two goals)

Official statistics

Minutes played
Cristian Riveros 480
Paulo da Silva 480
Justo Villar 480
Claudio Morel 480
Enrique Vera 414

Top scorers
Antolin Alcaraz 1
Enrique Vera 1
Cristian Riveros 1

Total shots
Nelson Valdez 9
Lucas Barrios 8
Roque Santa Cruz 7
Cristian Riveros 6

Pass Completion Rate
Paulo da Silva 78%
Cristian Riveros 72%
Victor Caceres 71%
Antolin Alcaraz 68%

Most Fouls
Enrique Vera 10
Lucas Barrios 10
Victor Caceres 10
Cristian Riveros 9
Antolin Alcaraz 8

Yellow cards
Victor Caceres 3
Claudio Morel 1
Jonathan Santana 1
Roque Santa Cruz 1
Antolin Alcaraz 1
Cristian Riveros 1
Enrique Vera 1

Red cards

Justo Villar 11

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