ASUNCION, June 15 (Reuters) - Striker Roque Santa Cruz
scored one goal and set up a second to inspire 10-man Paraguay
to a 2-0 win over Brazil in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Santa Cruz scored from close range midway through the first
half and set up the second for Salvador Cabanas just after
Paraguay, who top the South American group with 13 points
from five games, also hit the woodwork twice and won comfortably
despite having defender Dario Veron sent off early in the second
The defeat left Brazil with eight points and increased the
pressure on coach Dunga following their shock 2-0 defeat to
Venezuela in a friendly 10 days ago.
Brazil, missing Kaka after he underwent a knee operation
last month, have not won in Asuncion since 1985.
Paraguay began the game with three forwards while Brazil
adopted a cautious approach with four defenders and three
tackling specialists in midfield.
The hosts quickly took control, won a flurry of corners and
sounded a warning in the 24th minute when Cabanas collected an
Edgar Barreto pass, skipped past a challenge and shot against
Paraguay deservedly went ahead two minutes later when, from
a corner on the left, Cabanas flicked the ball on at the near
post and Santa Cruz sidefooted in from close range.
Brazil's timid response was reduced to a couple of free
kicks around the penalty area, both wasted, and a Robinho shot
which was blocked by Justo Villar.
The visitors, who replaced Josue with Anderson at halftime,
got a break three minutes after the re-start when Paraguay
defender Dario Veron picked up a second yellow card for an
off-the-ball tackle on Robinho and was sent off.
But one minute later, Paraguay increased their lead with
Santa Cruz this time acting as provider for Cabanas.
The Blackburn Rovers striker burst down the left, his
cross-shot was parried by Julio Cesar but fell to Cabanas who
scored from close range.
Paraguay were close to a third in the 56th minute when
Cabanas hit the bar and Santa Cruz's shot from the rebound was
cleared off the line.
Brazil then took control but lacked creativity. Their best
effort was a long-range shot by Anderson which was turned away
by Villar, only the second serious save he made in the entire