Australia 2 - Paraguay 1

MELBOURNE, June 15 AAP - Australia beat Paraguay 2-1 in a spiteful match at Olympic Park here tonight, wrapping up the inernational soccer series after two scoreless draws in Sydney and Brisbane.

Paul Okon missed a penalty four minutes after the break when he scooped the ball over the crossbar.

Craig Foster broke the deadlock two minutes after halftime when he lashed a left-footed volley into the net.

David Zdrilic then produced a brilliant turn and clipped the ball home and Australia had a 2-0 lead on 53 minutes.

The Australians dominated for much of the match but a moment of madness allowed Paraguay back into the game.

Miguel Caceres was out on the flank when he skipped past Shaun Murphy and still had to beat Stan Lazaridis before he could advance on goal.

But for some unknown reason Zeljko Kalac raced off his line and the forward topped the ball home from an acute angle to make it 2-1.

The Paraguayans seemed more concerned about being involved in personal feuds and referee Gerry Connolly was kept busy all night as there were plenty of flying elbows and wild tackles.

Controversial goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert was sent off in the dying minutes of the game after protesting one too many times about the treatment his players were getting from the Australians.

The match ended in high drama with the custodian refusing to get off the pitch and officials from the Paraguay side trying to intervene.

He advanced menacingly on Tony Popovic before being restrained and forced to leave the ground.

written by Paul Millar of AAP