Paraguay coach: we can beat Sweden

Paraguay can beat Sweden in their next match and take a huge step towards taking their place in the second round of the World Cup claimed the South American side's coach Anibal "Maño" Ruiz on Monday.

Ruiz, whose side slipped to a 1-0 defeat in their Group B opener against England on Saturday, accepted that Sweden, who they play in Berlin on Thursday, were a good side but no better than his, who are bidding to reach the second round for the third successive time.

“Sweden has a lot of ability,” said Ruiz, who has come in for some criticism since the England game with former goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert saying the team played like a bunch of losers.

“We know them well. They played well against Trinidad and Tobago without getting the result they needed. We are going to need to play a very good match if we are to win. However Sweden is one of the teams that we think are about our level.”

Ruiz said that evidently they would need to attack to ensure they won but that did not mean they were going to concede ground at the back.

“Obviously mentally we have to believe we are going to win, but that does not mean we are going to take it easy and not support our defence.”

The Paraguayans’ final group match is against Trinidad and Tobago on June 20 in Kaiserslautern, while Sweden will meet England in what could be a make-or-break tie for the yellow-clad Scandinavians.

On Saturday Sweden only managed a 0-0 draw against the Caribbean minnows, who were forced to play with 10 men for most of the second-half.

The country’s media slated the team’s performance, and coach Lars Lagerbäck’s assertion that Sweden played ‘a really good match’ was seen as adding insult to injury.