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Rory Fallon got a reminder about how careful he needs to be against Paraguay when French striker Yoann Gouruff was sent off for elbowing in France's meek 2-1 defeat to South Africa this morning.

Gouruff went up for a header with his elbows extended and clipped Bafana Bafana Macbeth Sibaya in the head. He was shown a straight red card by the referee.

It was a marginal decision and had a huge influence on the outcome of this match, although it was unlikely France would be able to overcome their problems both on and off the field to win handsomely enough to move through to the second round.

Fallon is crucial to New Zealand's chances of qualifying for the last 16 because of his aerial ability and physical approach but he has developed an unwanted reputation for leading with his arms from the All Whites' first two matches at the World Cup.

The Italians recognised this and went to ground clutching their faces at the slightest contact but it worked with referee Carlos Batres.

The gullible Guatemalan penalised Fallon eight times before the big target man was substituted about an hour into the match. Coach Ricki Herbert rightly recognised that he couldn't trust the referee not to make a big statement and replaced Fallon with Wood.

Fallon was often wrongly penalised for simply being better in the air than his opponents but he draws attention to himself by leading with his arms. The Paraguayans will have recognised this and will presumably be working on a game plan to counter Fallon. Whether this is sportsmanlike or not will be revealed on Friday morning (NZT).

New Zealand would prefer a European referee, who are generally known for allowing more physicality, for the crucial match but that appointment hasn't yet been announced by Fifa. It's unlikely they will get a South American whistleblower, given Paraguay are one of the teams playing, which will not displease the All Whites.

Herbert isn't likely to make any changes to the side which has started both games so far. He's not a coach who tends to change a successful formula and clearly what the side are producing is working.

It means Glen Moss misses out on playing in the final game. The goalkeeper has finally served his four-match ban for swearing at a referee and, before the tournament, it had been expected he might play against Paraguay.

But with them still in contention and Mark Paston having been superb in between the sticks, particularly against Italy, there is no chance Herbert will make a change.

The All Whites have had a couple of easy days to recuperate from what was a draining match both physically and mentally with Italy. They had a recovery session yesterday but only the reserves trained today.

Defender Winston Reid has a sore nose but otherwise the squad is fully fit.

Tomorrow they fly to Polokwane, about an hour from Johannesburg, where they will have a light training session on the Peter Mokaba Stadium.