Paraguay 0, Bulgaria 0
MONTPELLIER, France (AP) _ Almost 100 yards upfield from his usual spot, Paraguay goalie Jose Luis Chilavert thought he had what every player craves and what none in his position had ever recorded _ a World Cup goal to call his own.
Bulgaria’s goalkeeper had other ideas, and a leaping save by Zdravko Zdravkov kept things even and Chilavert out of the record books in a 0-0 tie Friday.
Chilavert, who frequently comes upfield on set plays and as an extra attacker, was chosen to take a free kick from 25 yards after referee Abdul Rahman Al-Zeid called Trifon Ivanov for hauling down Paraguay forward Jorge Campos.
He curled a left-footed shot over the wall in the 78th minute, only to have Zdravkov punch away the shot as it approached the crossbar.
``I already saw the ball in the net,″ Chilavert said. ``Too bad I did not score, I could have made history.″
No goalkeeper has ever scored in regulation or overtime at World Cup games.
Bulgaria had to play the final two minutes a man short after Al-Zeid gave a second yellow card to Anatoli Nankov. Paraguay had two good chances after that, but failed to convert after it generally dominated the second half.
``We lacked poise to finish the plays,″ Paraguay coach Paulo Cesar Carpeggiani said. ``We always missed the last pass.″
Hristo Stoichkov, the veteran Bulgarian forward, hit the right post with a shot in the first half and set up his team’s best second-half chance when he charged into the box from the left. He crossed the ball to an open Luboslav Penev, whose kick from 6 yards went high.
``We played well in the first half, but our game collapsed in the second,″ Bulgarian coach Hristo Bonev said.