SANTIAGO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Paraguay produced a ruthless performance to beat Chile 3-0 away on Wednesday and go top of the South American World Cup qualifying group.
Striker Salvador Cabanas pounced on poor defending to put
Paraguay ahead midway through the first half before defender
Paulo da Silva scored with two headers, both from corners,
either side of halftime.
Paraguay lead the 10-team group with 10 points from four
games. Chile are stuck on four points.
Chile, backed by a 60,000 crowd and inspired by Matias
Fernandez in midfield, made a promising start as they pushed
Paraguay into their own half.
The hosts created several good chances and looked more
likely to score until Paraguay hit them on the break in the
Goalkeeper Justo Villar hoofed a long clearance upfield,
the ball bounced once, was headed on by Nelson Haedo Valdez
and, as the Chile defence hesitated, Cabanas pounced to open
Chile continued to enjoy more possession but Paraguay
produced the sucker punch when Da Silva headed in from a corner
in the third minute of first-half stoppage-time.
The Mexican-based defender struck again in the 57th minute,
rising above the defence to score with a header which Claudio
Bravo got a hand to but could not stop.
Cristian Riveros had a potential fourth Paraguay goal
harshly disallowed for offside.