FIFA U17 World Cup: Paraguay boss lauds his side's team spirit in 4-2 win over New Zealand
A second-half comeback has sealed Paraguay's passage to the knockout stages.
Paraguay continued their brilliant start to the FIFA U17 World Cup by claiming their second win in the group stage. Fresh from a win against Mali, the South Americans put to the sword their opponents and won with a scoreline of 4-2. Paraguay scored first but allowed New Zealand to come back into the game with two quick goals. But a superb second-half performance led Paraguay to a famous comeback. In his post-match press conference, Gustavo Morinigo was elated by his team's display and lauded the team spirit in the squad.
It does not happen many times when a team scores four goals for themselves and two for their opponents. But Paraguay were a little too generous today as they scored not one but two own goals in the first half. When asked about his halftime talk, Morinigo revealed, "I just told the boys to have faith in themselves and stay calm. The own goals were not a fault of one player but it was an entire team's responsibility."
New Zealand are famous for their mean backline and have made their name as a side which is tough to break down. Revealing his strategy to unlock the Kiwi defence, Morinigo said, "In preparation for today's game, we made a few tweaks going forward. We decided to play more on the flanks to make more space in the middle for our arriving midfielders to capitalize." This victory was also a sweet revenge for Paraguay as it was New Zealand who dumped them out of the last FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
Despite two wins out of two, defence remains a bit of a concern for this Paraguay side. They have scored seven in two games but have also conceded four goals. Agreeing with there being some areas to work upon, Morinigo reflected, "Yes, I am concerned by the defending that has been on display for us in the two matches. We are going to go back to the drawing board and look to avoid mistakes at the back in the game against Turkey."