Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
Paraguay (442): Villar, Bonet, Morel, de Silva, Alcaraz, Caceres, Valdez (Caniza 89'), Vera, Barrios (Benetez 55'), Santa Cruz, Riveros (Barreto 78')
New Zealand (343): Paston, Reid, Smith, Nelson, Lochhead, Bertos, Elliot (Brown 79'), Vicelich (Mulligan 63'), Fallon, Smeltz, Killen
This match may not have had the action of the previous but it more than made up for it in intensity as Paraguay win the game but lose the war. The first half-hour had little to offer but a yellow card to New Zealand's Shane Smeltz would suspend him for the second round if his team made it out of the group. Another foul by the All Whites gave Paraguay the first chance of the game when Mark Paston charged out of his goalmouth and brought down Enrique Vera before converting the spot kick himself. Vera had intercepted a bad pass and dribbled his way into the area before the referee made his easy decision.
With more unimaginative but tense play New Zealand had the chance to equalise before halftime when Bertos placed a delightful chip over the defense for Rory Fallon who shot it straight at Villar. Paraguay needed another goal to finish above NZL on goal difference and nine minutes after the restart a reflex save from Paston stopped Barrios from scoring it on a fine free kick that the keeper saw very late.
The South American side kept up the pressure but were unable to really break down their opponents defence led by Ryan Nelson, and their next best chance came when Claudio Morel came up with a great run from defence before shooting it into the side netting. So, it ends 1-0 and the even GD of New Zealand barely gets them into an historic second round while Paraguay rue their missed chances throughout the group stage.
Paraguay 1 - 0 New Zealand
PAR Vera 31'
NZL Smeltz 18'
NZL Paston 30'
PAR Riveros 57'
NZL Smith 68'
Man of the Match:
NZL Ryan Nelson