12:39:28 PM
02 2002


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Group B kicked-off with a dramatic draw as South Africa got a late penalty kick from Quinton Fortune to even up the score against Paraguay. The South Americans were left devastated after giving up a two-goal lead with a half hour to play.

They had taken the lead through a Roque Santa Cruz header and a stunning Francisco Arce free kick on either side of half-time, but Teboho Mokoena's shot snaked into the net from a deflection and set up a tense finish. The Africans repeatedly went close until Jose Luis Chilavert's replacement, Ricardo Tavarelli, brought down Sibusiso Zuma in the box in the 90th minute.

Right from the opening whistle Paraguay threatened as Roque Santa Cruz was sent through from midfield. As he broke into the penalty area, his first touch was a little strong and skipped over the by-line for a goal kick (1’).

But South Africa’s MacBeth Sibaya created a chance on the other end of the pitch minutes later when he launched a 25-metre rocket inches wide of the near post (4’).

With a dangerous free kick 25 metres from goal, Franciso Arce nearly had Paraguay ahead, but his right-footer was parried over the bar by South Africa goalkeeper Andre Arendse at the near post (10’).

As the game settled in, the teams traded possessions, working carefully to set up the right opportunity. A real chess match was taking shape.

But, as the half elapsed, Santa Cruz started to take over the match. He was sent through again, but this time, after chesting the ball down on the right side, his pass across the face of goal went wanting (22’).

The Bayern Munich forward then knocked a header on goal from six metres that Arendse was just able to bat away from goal with his right hand (32’).

Given one too many chances, Santa Cruz finally put Paraguay on top. A dangerous Arce free kick from 25 metres caused Arendse to hesitate off his line and Santa Cruz made him pay by driving a header into the vacated net (1:0, 39’).

Before Paraguay could sort things out after the interval, South Africa almost tied the game, but Sibusiso Zuma only got a piece of the ball on his short-range volley and goalkeeper Ricardo Tavarelli was able to first deflect the shot and then cover it (46’).

It seemed the South Americans regained control of the situation a short time later when captain Carlos Gamarra broke up field and ripped a 20-metre blast just wide of the back post (48’).

Paraguay then doubled their advantage when Arce struck a powerful free kick toward the top-left corner, off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net (2:0, 55’).

Now in a desperate situation, Bafana Bafana went on the attack. South Africa created a flurry of activity around the Paraguay goal, and when Aaron Mokoena’s shot was inadvertently deflected past a wrong-footed Tavarelli, they were back within a goal (2:1, 63’).

The game returned to the back-and-forth pace seen in the first half, but now with Paraguay content to watch the clock run and South Africa in crisis mode.

Just as Paraguay seemed to have three points in their back pocket, Tavarelli brought down Zuma inside the penalty area, and Quinton Fortune buried the ensuing penalty kick to the keeper’s right and levelled the score (2:2, 91+’).

Source by Flashsport

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