PARAGUAY TAKE TOP SPOT A dreadful encounter ends goalless as Paraguay secure the point they need to top Group F and book their place in the last 16. New Zealand defended well and were handed a qualifying lifeline with news of Slovakia's lead over Italy, but they never looked like doing anything in the final third. Their fairytale run - three draws including one against the Italians - is over and, against all the odds it's the Slovakians who join Paraguay in the knock-out stages.
TIME ADDED ON Three minutes' additional time, with the ball in the New Zealand half. Incidentally, Italy have made it 3-2.
DEAD AND BURIED No one gave Slovakia a chance, but a third goal has just killed off the Italian resistance and surely ended their short-lived WC campaign. The Netherlands await Hamsik and co.
DRAMA Not here, but at Ellis Park where Italy have just had a goal ruled out for offside. Group F still on a knife edge.
SUBS COMBINE Barrios bursts into life and plants a cute ball on the head of Benitez, who heads straight at the keeper. If only they'd been on the pitch earlier.
GROUP F UPDATE The Italians aren't quite done just yet. They've pulled one back to make it 2-1 and set-up a grandstand finale at Ellis Park.
DECENT EFFORT Roque Santa Cruz has shown glimpses of his former self since the withdrawal of Cardozo and the introduction of Lucas Barrios. He wins a free kick in shooting territory and forces a decent stop from Mark Paston in the NZ goal.
SUBSTITUTION Ricki Herbert throws on Jeremy Brockie at the expense of Chris Killen. It's now or never for the All Whites.
SMART STOP Mark Paston pulls off a rare diving save, low to his left, to deny Edgar Benitez's 18-yard firecracker. Barrios fluffs the rebound.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Paraguay are arguably doing the bare minimum to progress, but they'll have to improve a hell of a lot if they're to stay beyond the last 16.
GROUP F UPDATE Robert Vittek has scored again for Slovakia: Slovakia 2-0 Italy. The Azzurri - aka the reigning champs - are going home.
SUBSTITUTION Fresh Kiwi legs as Chris Wood comes on for Rory Fallon.
CALM AS YOU LIKE Da Silva does really well to see the ball out for a goal kick, with Bertos hot on his heels. Really can't see the All Whites finding a way through from open play.
IMPACT PLAYER Lucas Barrios is quick to get involved as he wellies one just wide of goal from the edge of the area. That's more than Cardozo offered.
CH-CH-CHANGES These two should bring some attacking vigour to Paraguay's lazy forward line. Lucas Barrios replaces Oscar Cardozo, while Nelson Valdez makes way for Benitez.
UNINSPIRING It's all gone a bit static again after that brief injection of excitement. Changes are imminent...
PINBALL That's more like it. Morel's corner causes all kinds of problems in the New Zealand box; Paston does well to keep out a Riveros header, the Kiwis put bodies on the line to block the next effort and the follow-up is volleyed wide - almost in slow motion - by Cardozo.
UPPING THE ANTE A minor improvement on the first half from the group leaders as Tommy Smith is forced to concede a corner under pressure from Santa Cruz...
TAME Another tame effort from Oscar Cardozo, who bends the resulting free kick wide of the mark. A real contender for worst game of the tournament, this one.
YELLOW CARD Ryan Nelsen blocks the run of Roque Santa Cruz - blatant obstruction - and a yellow card, which rules him out of NZ's next game (if they progress, that is).
GROUP F UPDATE Paraguay and Slovakia going through, then, with New Zealand third and holders Italy bottom of the pile. Time's fast ticking away for all involved...
AS YOU WERE Still no adventure from the Paraguayans, who are playing a very risky game just settling for a draw. At some point, New Zealand will have to take the game by the scruff of its neck. Surely?
ELLIOTT EFFORT Tony Lochhead's left-wing cross is cleared only as far as Simon Elliott, who fires a sweetly-struck drive a couple of yards wide of the keeper's right-hand post.
BALL JUGGLING Oscar Cardozo lights up an otherwise dismal encounter with some neat keepy-uppies, before launching the ball into the New Zealand half. That's as good as it's got, so far.
SECOND HALF Up and running again at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. New Zealand have 45 minutes to make a piece of World Cup history, but do they have a plan B?
HALF TIME A disappointing first half draws to a close in Polokwane. Paraguay have had the lion's share of possession without remotely troubling the All Whites' disciplined defensive set-up. While a draw's good enough for the South Americans, Slovakia's 1-0 lead over Italy would send the Kiwis tumbling out. They simply have to go for it after the break.
TIME ADDED ON One minute of time added on at the end of the first half. New Zealand have restricted the Paraguayans, but that isn't enough as things stand.
YELLOW CARD Roque Santa Cruz sees yellow after a stamp on Chris Killen. Looked worse than it was - didn't appear malicious.
WAYWARD STRIKE Typical of the game, Oscar Cardozo, who notched 36 goals in all competitions for Benfica last season, balloons a rushed effort well wide of goal. Bring on Lucas Barrios already...
LOCKOUT Hats off to the All Whites - their physical approach is shackling Paraguay's flair boys, who, at the moment, look clueless.
ROUTINE SAVE Nelson Valdez looks Paraguay's best bet for a goal. He winds up and fires straight at Paston from 20-yards. Still, at least it's a shot on target...
KEEPER'S BALL Nelson Valdez charges into the New Zealand area, but Caniza's overcooked cross is too close to the goalkeeper.
ELBOWS AT DAWN Chris Killen's penalised after leading with his elbow and catching Caceres in the process. The Paraguayan made a bit of a meal of that, it has to be said.
DEJA VU Denis Caniza sprays another hopeless effort into the stands - his fourth of the afternoon. You expect better from a man, who's played in four World Cups.
ZZZZZZZZ Nope, not the incessant buzz of the vuvuzelas. There's just not much happening at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Neither side has yet to get going.
GROUP F UPDATE Hel-lo. Slovakia - yes, Slovakia - have taken the lead at Ellis Park. That has thrown a spanner in the works and, as things stand, the Eastern Europeans would progress, with NZ and Italy bowing out.
BUZZING Despite the lack of action, the vuvuzela-puffing fans are in fine voice. Paraguay continue to dictate play without doing much in front of goal. This will suit the Kiwis.
GROUP F UPDATE No goals in either games so far, then. If New Zealand and Italy only manage to draw, with the same result, Paraguay would go through as group winners and lots would be drawn to determine who joins them (basement side Slovakia not included).
POT SHOT Valdez with a much better delivery, this time, to pick out Roque Santa Cruz. The Man City striker squeezes between two defenders to coolly lay the ball off to Caceres on the edge of the area. His effort is blocked and Caniza sends another poor effort off target.
SLALOM RUN Nelson Valdez brilliantly skips away from the flailing limbs of three New Zealand defenders - he even throws in a cheeky nutmeg - but again his cross fails to live up to the promise of some dazzling build-up play.
SPECULATIVE STRIKE The Paraguay players flood the New Zealand area as a teasing free kick sails in from Morel. Fallon out jumps Santa Cruz and Caniza sends a hopeful half volley comfortably wide.
AIMLESS Nelson Valdez shows good feet to get into a crossing position out on the Paraguay left, but he gets his cross all kinds of wrong - goal kick.
YELLOW CARD Really cynical challenge from Victor Caceres sends Fallon crashing to the deck. A clear booking and, should Paraguay progress, Caceres will play no part in their last 16 tie.
TALKING TACTICS Tentative start, with New Zealand happy to sit back and invite the pressure. Not that Paraguay are doing much with the ball, mind.
OFF TARGET First sight of goal falls the way of New Zealand, but German-born striker Shane Smeltz is slighty off balance and blazes wide.
EAGER BEAVER Riveros snaps at the heels of Fallon and can have no complaints with the referee's decision. Bit too eager from the Paraguayan, there.
IN THE MIXER An early chance for Paraguay to stamp their authority on the game as Tommy Smith concedes a free kick just inside his own half. The big boys go forward, but Morel's delivery sails into the arms of NZ stopper Paston.
WE'RE OFF The ball's rolling at the magnificent Peter Mokaba Stadium. Japan's Yuichi Nishimura, this afternoon's match official.
THE ANTHEMS A typically gutsy rendition of 'God defend New Zealand' from the All Whites. Paraguay are equally pumped for the occasion; they certainly don't look like a side that's come here to draw.
HERE THEY COME After a rather long wait in the tunnel, the teams take to the field in Polokwane.
PREDICTION So, Paraguay only need a draw to progress, while New Zealand could pull off the shock of the tournament should they steal three points and make it through. Still, even with Lucas Barrios on the bench, the South Americans will have too much fire power for the gutsy All Whites: Paraguay 2-0 NZ.
THE TEAMS ARE IN Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino makes three changes for his side's final Group F encounter, bringing in Denis Caniza and Julio Cesar Caceres at the back as well as hot-shot striker Oscar Cardozo. New Zealand gaffer Ricki Herbert understandably names the same starting XI that held defending champions Italy to a 1-1 draw.
EARLY TEAM NEWS Both gaffers are unlikely to ring the changes for the crunch Group F tie in Polokwane, despite the respective returns of NZ first choice stopper Glen Moss and Paraguay midfielder Jonathan Santana.
PREVIEW Paraguay go into their final Group F encounter against New Zealand knowing a draw will see them through to the last 16. Should they win, they will definitely top the group, but the Kiwis have proved a tough nut to crack after securing two 1-1 draws, including a remarkable result against holders Italy that hands them a slender chance of booking their place in the knock-out stages.