Paraguay, England squads arrive in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG: England and Paraguay arrived in South Africa hoping a favourable first-round draw can be the catalyst for a serious World Cup challenge.

A recent survey here revealed England would be the second most popular team after Brazil among local supporters should the national side fail to go all the way in the June 11-July 11 tournament.

Tight security surrounded the grey-suited England stars as they followed Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Denmark, United States, North Korea and Nigeria in reaching the first African country to host the World Cup.

On the other hand, Paraguay squad landed at Johannesburg''s O.R. Tambo airport before travelling on to Pietermaritzburg, near South Africa''s east coast, where it will be based.

The Paraguayans beat 2004 European champion Greece 2-0 in an international friendly in Switzerland on Wednesday.

Paraguay, which has never progressed past the last 16 at a World Cup, lines up against world champion Italy, Slovakia and New Zealand in Group F.