Karic's Slovenes Go Home
Wednesday, 12th Jun 2002 14:30
Amir Karic's Slovenians said goodbye to the World Cup with a 3-1 loss to Paraguay. Slovenia had already been eliminated before today's game, but will feel disappointed to have lost after playing against ten men for 69 minutes and being ahead at half-time. Paraguay, however, will be ecstatic after qualifying for the next round on goals scored.
Slovenia went ahead just before half-time through new Spurs man Acimovic, shortly after Karic had hit a fine shot just wide from distance.
By that stage Paraguay's Carlos Parades had already been sent off, after receiving two yellow cards.
As usual with Paraguay there was the usual flamboyance from bonkers keeper Jose-Luis Chilavert, including two freekick attempts to score the first goal by a keeper at a World Cup. As on previous occasions he came close, but not close enough.
The second half saw a major fightback from the Paraguayans led by super sub Nelson Cuevas who put them on terms on 65, just three minutes after coming on.
Another sub, Jorge Campos, put Paraguay ahead eight minutes later, and the chase was on for the third goal which would give the South Americans a place in the next round.
Cuevas, who had completely changed the game since being introduced, gave the Paraguayans their goal with a stunning run and strike off the underside of the bar in the 84th minute, and even came close to a hat-trick late on.
Karic, who received his second booking of the tournament for a foul in the 67th minute, will now return to NK Maribor where he spent most of last season.
Town, keen to rid themselves of his £7,000 a week wage, will hope that his performances in Japan have caught the eye of other clubs.
Elsewhere in Group B Spain beat South Africa 3-2 which means they face Matt Holland's Ireland in Suwon on Sunday (12.30pm). Paraguay will now face the Germans in Seogwipo on Saturday (7.30am).
Photo: Action Images
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