• Sweden edition

England 1 Paraguay 0

Published: 11 Jun 2006 09:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jun 2006 09:53 GMT+02:00

An own goal after four minutes from Paraguay captain Carlos Gamarra handed England a 1-0 win that was anything but the convincing display England boss Sven-Göran Eriksson had been seeking from his super-confident squad.

"We can play much better but I am happy today - it's three points," Eriksson said. "The most important thing was to get three points and we got them. So It's a good start."

England captain David Beckham said the 30-degree heat at a sweltering Waldstadion had taken its toll but admitted his side had committed far too many basic errors for comfort.

"We were good at times but we give ball away too much. We got what we wanted. The performance can be better and we've got to work on that," adding he was not discouraged that England had made such hard work of their opponents.

"We would have liked to have played better but on the other hand I think it's the mark of a strong team that we can not play at our best and still get a result," he said.

Paraguay coach Anibal Ruiz said he believed the South Americans had outplayed their star-studded opponents for much of the second half.

"We were playing a very strong team with very strong players but I felt that we managed to control them. For a lot of the time we were superior," Ruiz said, acknowledging that the heat had been a factor.

"In the second half I think we dealt with the heat better than them because we are used to it. That's why we were stronger physically," he said.

Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne, was among an estimated 35,000 England fans crammed into the ground. But Beckham and co conspicuously failed to lay on an attacking feast fit for a future king, with strikers Peter Crouch and Michael Owen both struggling to get on target.

England's problems in front of goal were summed up by the telling statistic that they failed to have a single shot from inside the area.

Nevertheless Eriksson remains confident that his side can emerge as genuine title contenders.

"To win the World Cup we will have to play better football, and I know we can play better football," said Eriksson.

The Swede did at least take away the satisfaction of having improved England's dismal record of winning only one opening match of a major tournament in the past 20 years, knowing that a victory over minnows Trinidad and Tobago in Nuremberg next Thursday will put them into the next round.

Yet the return to match fitness of Manchester United star Wayne Rooney clearly cannot come soon enough for England, who failed to build on the dream start handed to them by Gamarra's own goal.

Once again the goal came via Beckham's right boot, the Real Madrid star sending a wicked inswinging free-kick into the box that Gamarra glanced past goalkeeper Justo Villar.

A disastrous opening for Paraguay got worse only a few minutes later when Villar limped off with what looked like an injury to his right leg.

England, with Steven Gerrard outstanding in central midfield after recovering from a pre-match injury scare, threatened to run riot early on against a Paraguayan side that seemed paralysed by nerves.

Gerrard saw an ambitious volley fly over the bar on 10 minutes and seconds later produced a sublime pass that sent former Owen bearing down on goal.

Owen, who has hardly played this year after breaking his foot last December, was let down by his first touch however, allowing Paraguay to clear the danger. It was typical of what would prove to be an unhappy afternoon for Owen, who was replaced by Stewart Downing on 53 minutes.

Paraguay had to wait until the 18th minute before their first meaningful chance, when a rare foray into England territory ended with Carlos Paredes shooting wide.

There was bad news for England when Gerrard was booked by fussy Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez after a challenge on Cristian Riveros that appeared to make minimal contact.

Paraguay's best chance came in the closing minutes of the half when Werder Bremen's Nelson Valdez lashed a shot just wide of the right-hand post as Paraguay capitalised on a slip by England left-back Ashley Cole.

England again started brightly in the second half, with Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole impressing after being shifted into the hole behind Crouch after Owen's substitution.

But an increasingly confident Paraguay had alarm bells ringing in the England defence on 60 minutes when keeper Paul Robinson could only palm a Carlos Bonet cross to Paredes, who hooked his volley over.

A yellow card for Crouch on 63 minutes summed up England's frustration as both sides tired.

Frank Lampard looked the most likely to increase England's goal tally, twice seeing long-range shots well-save by Paraguay replacement keeper Aldo Bobadilla.

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
How immigration became a key election issue
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »


25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
People-watching August 27
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
People-watching August 22-24
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: