Paraguay and Slovakia earned identical results in their Group F openers, but their reactions to the 1-all draws couldn't have been more different.
While the Paraguayans were encouraged after earning a point against the defending World Cup champions, Slovakia is desperate for a victory Sunday over La Albirroja as it tries to regroup from a disappointing finish against one of the weakest teams in the field.
Antolin Alcaraz's first-half header gave Paraguay a lead and sparked the team to an impressive tie against Italy on Monday.
"We're really pleased to have gone toe-to-toe with the reigning world champions and, above and beyond the result, we're very satisfied with our performance," coach Gerardo Martino said.
"Paraguay could have a chance at this World Cup if we can combine the individual brilliance of other national sides with teamwork," the coach added.
Paraguay's chances of advancing to the knockout stage for the third time in the last four World Cups would get even better if the team gets more contributions from oft-injured striker Roque Santa Cruz, who played 22 minutes as a substitute against Italy.
Santa Cruz was also limited by injuries while playing for Manchester City this season, but the potentially dynamic scorer said he hopes to start against Slovakia.
"It's been the story through all my career, not just this season. It's disappointing but something I've lived with," Santa Cruz said. "I felt OK (Monday), and felt I could have played longer. ... I should have enough time to be ready."
La Albirroja may be satisfied with another draw assuming they can earn a victory in their final group match Thursday against New Zealand.
North Korea and host South Africa are the only teams in the field below New Zealand in the FIFA rankings, but that didn't stop the All Whites from scoring during stoppage time Tuesday to equalize their opening game against Slovakia.
Slovakian coach Vladimir Weiss called the goal a "minor sporting tragedy" for the nation, which is participating in its first World Cup since the 1993 breakup of Czechoslovakia.
"We let our opponents play far too much football, although I don't want to start debating the quality in my team just at the moment," said Weiss, who may have higher hopes for captain Marek Hamsik and striker Stanislav Sestak.
Still, Slovakia outshot New Zealand 13-8 and had 10 corners to the Kiwis' three, appearing primed for victory after Robert Vittek's 50th-minute header gave them the lead.
"I think we deserved all three points," Vittek said. "We've put ourselves in an extremely difficult position, but we need to forget about the points we've dropped today and simply move on."
Anything but a victory against Paraguay may create an impossible task for Slovakia, which must then face Italy on Thursday. The Italians will expect to take three points from their match Sunday against New Zealand.