By Abhishek Shukla
NAVI MUMBAI: Paraguay came from a goal down to beat New Zealand 4-2 in Group B of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 on Monday.
The South American nation took the lead in the second minute itself through Alan Rodriguez before a couple of own goals by Alexis Duarte (20′ & 34′) put the Kiwis ahead.
Nonetheless, Paraguay came back strong in second half as substitue Anibal Vega’s (75′ & 78′) brace and a injury time goal by Blas Armoa (90+1′) secured full three points for Paraguay at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Paraguay started with almost same team as played against Mali on Friday; they brought Fernando Cardozo in place of Antonio Galeano. With New Zealand’s Captain Max Mata not eligible to play the game, as he got red card in last minute against Turkey on Friday. New Zealand made couple of changes in the starting lineup, Joshua Rogerson played as defender and last match substitute Willem Ebbinge made it to the starting lineup this time.
Paraguay dominated from the go, and scored in second minute itself when Rodriguez scored from a free kick. After the goal New Zealand started to attack on Paraguay and nearly had a chance couple of times.
New Zealand equalized in 20th minute as a deflection from Paraguayan Captain, Alexis Duarte entered the goal. Just after the equalizer Paraguay had another chance but it was ruled off-side.
New Zeeland took the lead in similar manner as Paraguayan captain scored the brace, but in Own goal. A deflection from him in 34th minute has undone all the hard work done by other players.
At halftime Young All whites were leading with 2-1 against South American side.
In Second half New Zealand started strong with couple of good shots on goal but failed to covert those chances.
Paraguay started to push harder after 70th minute of play as their substitute Anibal Vega created couple of chances. He got success in 75th minute when he bumped in a goal and equalizes the score. In 78th minute Leonardo Sanchez dribbled past few opponents defender to assist Vega his second goal by deflection.
Later Paraguay created many chances but failed to capitalize on those chances as many were blocked by New Zealand Goalkeeper. Substitute Blas Armoa scored in injury time to double the lead and seal then match for South Americans.