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   June 15, 2002 | 1350 IST


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Germany strike late to make last 8

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Patrick Vignal

A goal two minutes from time by Oliver Neuville gave Germany a 1-0 win over Paraguay and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

The match was drifting towards extra-time when the German striker latched onto a cross by midfielder Bernd Schneider and hit a first time shot from six metres.

Paraguay midfielder Roberto Acuna was sent off in the dying seconds after striking Germany's playmaker Michael Ballack in an off-the-ball incident.

Oliver NeuvilleGermany go on to meet either Mexico or the United States.

Germany have failed to reach the last eight of the World Cup only once in the last 50 years -- in 1978 -- while Paraguay have never advanced beyond the second round.

The two teams, meeting for the very first time, had largely cancelled each other out in a match with few chances.

In the opening stages there was little goalmouth action until Paraguay threatened with a left-foot drive from wing-back Denis Caniza that went just wide on 19 minutes.

Germany goalkeeper and captain Oliver Kahn was made to work three minutes later, punching a 25-metre free-kick from defender Francisco Arce over his bar, and had to be alert again on 37 minutes to tip away a drive from substitute Jorge Campos.

Germany had their best chance before the break when striker Miroslav Klose fired over from a Marco Bode pass in the 32nd minute.

The South Americans' flamboyant goalkeeper, Jose Luis Chilavert, did not have to make a save until midfielder Bernd Schneider fired straight at him two minutes after the interval.

Chilavert was kept busy as he had to dive on an attempt from just outside the box by Germany striker Oliver Neuville in the 62nd minute.

The Paraguay captain then left his goal to take a well-placed free-kick in the 72nd minute but his effort flew well over the bar.

Klose, the tournament's leading scorer with five goals, then headed over from a Michael Ballack cross in the 78th minute.

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