Pre-game: Slovakia vs. Paraguay
Day 10, Match 1
Slovakia vs. Paraguay, Group F
Date and Location
June 20, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Live on CBC and CBCSports.ca (7 a.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.
Watch the Rogers pre-game show 30 minutes before kickoff as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.
What's at stake
All four teams are tied in Group E after Paraguay battled Italy to a 1-1 draw, and Slovakia and New Zealand played things out to a similar score line.
Slovakia and Paraguay can't clinch a second-round berth by winning this match (nor can they be eliminated if they lose). But they can separate themselves from the pack and put themselves in pole position to be one of two sides to move on to the next round from this group. A loss by either nation would leave their World Cup campaign in tatters.
Midfielder Victor Caceres earned a yellow card in Paraguay's previous match. If he receives another against Slovakia, he will be suspended for his country's final game of the group stage.
Midfielder Zdenko Strba is in a similar predicament for Slovakia.
Player to watch for Slovakia
Marek Hamsik — He's Slovakia's best player and one of the most unheralded midfielders in the game today. Hamsik's skill and charisma have earned him praise as an elite box-to-box midfielder.
Player to watch for Paraguay
Edgar Barreto — Barreto plays a number of roles as Paraguay's midfielder. When under pressure, he does whatever is necessary to win back possession, but when his countrymen tilt the field he can be seen running into the opponent's final third.
Stanislav Sestak vs. Paulo da Sliva — A 10-year veteran of the national team, da Silva is a stalwart defender who anchors the back line from his position at the heart of the defence. Sestak is always in motion, flowing from the striker's position upfront to the right side of midfield, dragging defenders out of position.
"At the end of the day we haven't lost and we'll do our level best to prevent the same thing from happening again." — winger Vladimir Weiss
"We obviously want to make it into the next phase from the first stage. We want to go at least to the quarter-finals because in Paraguayan history it's never been done. But you never know." — forward Roque Santa Cruz
All time head-to-head
Slovakia and Paraguay have never met in international play