Michael Ballack was considered fit enough to play and
Oliver Neuville partnered Miroslav Klose up front, in place of workhorse Carsten Jancker.
Germany had to reshuffle their side to deal with the three
suspensions of Ziege, Hamman and Ramelow and it didn't seem to gell initially.
Both sides started evenly matched; their passes going
astray as the first, Second Round match got underway.
Ballack's back-header on Germany's second corner never
really threatened Chilavert and in the 13th minute his right-foot shot, from long-range,
flew wide of the target as well.
Bad news for Paraguay, as Roque Santa Cruz received
treatment on the sidelines, around the 15th minute..... but he made it back onto the pitch
a couple of minutes later.
Birthday boy, Ollie Kahn then punched Francisco Arce's 21st
minute, direct free-kick away; to keep out Paraguay's first real chance.
Roque Santa Cruz couldn't shake off his injury and was replaced by Jorge Campos on the
A super save by Ollie Kahn, from substitute Campos, kept
Germany level; eight minutes before the half-time break.
Marko Rehmer's lack of match practice had put his
goalkeeper under pressure on a few occasions; as Paraguay ended the half better than
Germany, holding the ball well and making cleaner passes.
Half-time: Germany 0 -- Paraguay 0
Rudi Völler had picked up on the problem with Marko Rehmer, replacing him at half-time
with Borussia Dortmund's Sebastian Kehl, but Germany still tried to play too much through
the middle rather than using the width and knocking in crosses for Klose's head.
Sure Chilavert is good...... but there's no harm in putting
him to the test.
Germany needed to find a way into this game, with Oliver
Neuville not getting the service he needed. Rudi Völler decided to bring on Frank Baumann
for Christoph Metzelder to try and neutralise Paraguay; even though Metzelder plays with
the other substitute, Sebastian Kehl, at club level.
Germany seemed too slow to create chances for Neuville or
Klose...... On one of the few occasions when the Paraguay defence were well away from
their penalty area, Oliver Neuville needed a quicker release.
When the ball was finally pumped upfield, the Leverkusen
forward was flagged offside.
Chilavert came up for Paraguay's 74th minute free-kick, on
the edge of the German penalty circle. The shot went over; giving the Paraguay keeper
plenty of time to get back in goal.
Thirteen minutes from time, Germany almost looked
dangerous.....when Michael Ballack crossed high from the left for Klose in the middle.
The header went over.... but even against Saudi Arabia,
Miroslav Klose needed a few attempts to get the direction right. Sadly, he didn't get
enough chances in this game.
Germany started to push up and look more constructive as
the time ticked out.
-- GOAL -- 1-0
Bernd Schneider, on the right, crossed in low for his Leverkusen team mate, Oliver
Neuville, to run through the defenders like a horse coming up to the winning line
and slammed the ball past Chilavert..... in the 88th minute.
Paraguay showed urgency in the last minute but Germany had
won the cat and mouse game, for a place in the Quarter-finals --
against Mexico or USA.