Anibal Vega scored a brace as Paraguay snatched a 4-2 win over New Zealand in a Group B game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday.
New Zealand were leading 2-1 at the half-way mark, courtesy two own goals by captain Alexis Duarte, but Paraguay bounced back in the style to record their second win of the tournament and qualify for the knock-out rounds.
With this win, Paraguay have attained six points to go on top of the table.
Paraguay took the lead in the second minute when Alan Rodriguez successfully converted a free kick. Rodriguez curled the ball from his magical left foot, which dipped into the top left corner of the goal, leaving the Kiwi goalie Jacob Clarke completely foxed. In the 11th minute, Paraguay could have extended the lead, but Leonardo Sanchez's shot was brilliantly saved by the Kiwi goalie.
New Zealand, who drew 1-1 with Turkey, were playing without their regular captain Max Mata, who missed this match because of two yellow cards he received in their tournament opener.
In the early stages of the second half, as New Zealand led 2-1, a header from Charles Spragg went over the bar in the 64th minute as they narrowly missed a 3-1 lead.
Paraguay were finally rewarded in the 75th minute when the equaliser came through Vega. Just three minutes later, the combination of Sanchez and Vega gave them a 3-2 lead as the latter scored again. Paraguay extended their lead in the 91st minute when Blas Armoa made a run from the right flank, dribbling past New Zealand's full back with a quick clip and then fired home a shot past the Kiwi goalkeeper.