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Paraguay dampen All Whites homecoming

Goals from Nelson Valdez and Osvaldo Martinez in the space of five first half minutes gave Paraguay a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the second match of the ASB International Series in Wellington on Tuesday night.

Paraguay celebrate their second goal. Photosport

October 12, 2010

WELLINGTON – Goals from Nelson Valdez and Osvaldo Martinez in the space of five first half minutes gave Paraguay a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the second match of the ASB International Series in Wellington on Tuesday night.

Beginning the match without inspirational captain Ryan Nelsen and striker Shane Smeltz after injury concerns ruled the pair out of contention, the All Whites again created enough chances to win the encounter but as in the 1-1 draw with Honduras on Saturday, were let down by wasteful finishing in front of goal.

“Creating chances was great for us, putting it in the back of the net wasn’t,” was New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert’s summation of the night.

Spanish-based striker Valdez struck from the penalty spot in the 22nd after Ben Sigmund brought down Edgar Benitez in the box, and five minutes later Enrique Vera unlocked the re-jigged Al Whites defensive line with a pass that allowed Martinez to double the lead.

“Tonight was always going to be tough with five players missing from the World Cup team but again there were opportunities. For a small period of about 10 minutes we let ourselves down but I thought periods in the second half were as good as we’ve played in a while.”

Michael McGlinchey got a rare start in behind strikers Chris Killen and Chris Wood while Sigmund replaced Nelsen in defence with Reid shifting into the middle of that back three.

The inexplicably clubless Simon Elliott again shone in midfield, while Rory Fallon received a hero’s welcome when he entered the game as a late substitute, returning to the scene of his most famous goal.

Reid’s night ended slightly earlier than his team mates, earning a red card for a 90th minute tackle on Federico Santander. He will miss at least one international which will likely be in March as New Zealand Football piece together a build up programme to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers which begin in late 2011.

“The best thing now is that we can all take a breath, said Herbert

“No one gave us a chance five years ago, but we qualified for the World Cup did fantastically well.

“We can probably put a line under that now and say that’s probably not a bad benchmark to start from leading into Brazil in 2014.”

New Zealand 0 Paraguay 2 (Nelson HAEDO VALDEZ 22-pen, Osvaldo MARTINEZ 27)
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Halftime: 0-2

New Zealand: 1-Mark PASTON (GK / 12-Glen MOSS 79), 2-Ben SIGMUND (18-Andrew BOYENS 52), 4-Winston REID, 5-Ivan VICELICH, 7 Simon ELLIOTT, 8-Tim BROWN (captain), 10-Chris KILLEN, 11-Leo BERTOS (16-Aaron CLAPHAM 82), 15-Michael MCGLINCHEY (14-Rory FALLON 79), 20-Chris WOOD, 22-Jeremy BROCKIE (21-Jeremy CHRISTIE 52).
Substitutes not used: 13-Cole PEVERLEY, 17-David MULLIGAN.
Not available: 6-Ryan NELSEN, 9-Shane SMELTZ.
Coach: Ricki HERBERT

Cautions: Jeremy BROCKIE 49, Ivan VICELICH 55

Red Cards: Winston REID 90

Paraguay: 1-Justo VILLAR (GK /captain), 2-Dario VERON, 3-Claudio RODRIGUEZ, 6-Carlos BONET (4-Cesar BENITEZ 58), 8-Osmar MOLINAS (15-Victor CACERES 82), 10-Edgar BENITEZ (11-Nestor CAMACHO 57), 13-Enrique VERA (17-Marcos RIVEROS 83), 14-Paulo DA SILVA, 16-Cristian RIVEROS, 18-Nelson HAEDO VALDEZ (9-Federico SANTANDER 59), 20-Osvaldo MARTINEZ (7-Hernan Perez 78).
Substitutes not used: 12-Diego BERRETO (RGK), 19-Derlis ORUE.
Coach: Geraldo MARTINO

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