Paraguay would look to extend winning streak against Kiwis
Navi Mumbai, Oct 8 (PTI) Paraguay would look to extend their winning streak when they clash with New Zealand in a Group B match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here tomorrow.
Paraguay displayed an attacking style of football in their first game against last-edition's runner-up Mali which they clinched 3-2 at the D Y Patil stadium.
However, their aggression had dipped in the second half of that match, though their coach Gustavo Morinigo believed their performance improved after the third goal was scored in the 55th minute.
For Paraguay, the form of Leonardo Sanchez, who the coach termed as a strong player, will be crucial. The South American side also possess good attackers, defenders and mid-fielders.
But their defence was slightly exposed when Mali scored back-to-back goals. Considering that New Zealand also have good strikers, they would have to ensure that defenders don't give any space and chance to the opposition.
For Paraguay, this is their fourth appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Their debut, and best result to date, came in New Zealand 1999, where they finished fifth.
However, they failed to progress beyond the group stage in their two subsequent appearances, in Trinidad and Tobago 2001 and Chile 2015.
A win against the Kiwis will help them reach the knockouts after 17 years.
New Zealand go into the game without their inspirational player and skipper Max Mata, who was double booked by the referee in the drawn game against Turkey.
The Kiwi team, who arrived in India well in advance, are still searching for their first win in the country. They lost two practise matches to Brazil and England.
Their players did put up a good show in the 1-1 drawn game against Turkey, but they will have to step up their game if they have to get across Paraguay tomorrow.
Kiwi coach Danny Hay would expect his players to take aggressive stance from the beginning and extend it till the final whistle.
New Zealand's defence and their goalie were equally good and need to carry on from where they left off against the Turks.
The Teams (From):
New Zealand: Jacob Clark, Zac Jones, Nicholas Milner, Liberato Cacace, Boyd Curry, Ben Deeley, Matthew Jones, Joshua Rogerson, Jordan Spain, Emlyn Wellsmore, Willem Ebbinge, Elijah Just, Oliver Duncan, Kieran Richards, Kingsley Sinclair, Oliver Whyte, Leon Van Den Hoven. Matthew Conroy, Charles Spragg, Matthew Palmer.
Paraguay: Diego Huesca, Jesus Rolon, Roberto Fernandez, Pedro Alvarez, Alexis Duarte, Braian Ojeda, Antonio Galeano, Stevens Gomez, Fernando Romero, Julio Baez, Leonardo Sanchez, Angel Roa, Marcelo Rolon, Victor Villasanti, Luis Zarate, Anibal Vega, Fernando Cardozo, Blas Armoa, Jonathan Martinez, Giovanni Bogado, Alan Rodriguez.
Match starts at 8 PM