Anibal Vega scored a brace as Paraguay snatched a 4-2 win over New Zealand in Group B game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, here tonight.
Despite Paraguay skipper Alexis Duarte conceded two own goals, Vega ensured full three points for his side by finding the net in the 75th and 78th minutes.
New Zealand were leading 2-1 at the half-way mark, courtesy two own goals by 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 six points in the kitty and are on the 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 skipper Max Mata, who missed this match because of two yellow cards he received in their tournament opener.
In the 20th minute, Paraguay conceded an own goal, courtesy an untimely deflection by skipper Duarte to help New Zealand level the scores.
It was harrowing day for Duarte, who scored another own goal in the 34th minute to hand New Zealand a 2-1 lead.
In the early stages of the second half, Paraguay became desperate to equalise but New Zealand were brilliant in their defence.
New Zealand could have made it 3-1 in the 64th minute but a header from Charles Spragg went over the bar.
Paraguay were finally rewarded in the 75th minute when the equaliser came through Vega.
Just three minutes later, fortunes turned for Paraguay when the same combination of Sanchez and Vega gave them a 3-2 lead with the latter scoring.
Paraguay extended in the 91st minute when Blas Armoa made a run from the right flank, dribbling past New Zealand full back with a quick clip and then fired home a shot past the Kiwi goal-keeper.