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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 scorersAntolin 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 none

Saves Justo Villar 11

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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