• 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.

Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

979
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:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN