A late goal by Roque Santa Cruz gave Paraguay a 1-0 victory over Peru tonight in Copa America, but both advanced to the quarterfinals after Japan and Bolivia played to a 1-1 tie in the early game.
Santa Cruz rounded Peruvian goalkeeper Oscar Ibanez in the 88th minute for a classy finish and his third goal of the tournament. Paraguay created better chances and dominated the second half, but Peru had a better start with playmaker Roberto Palacios making impressive early moves.
In the earlier game, Japan and Bolivia ensured their elimination with a draw.
Erwin Sanchez netted a free kick seven minutes into the second half, whipping a low curling shot past Japanese goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki for a 1-0 Bolivia lead.
A challenge in the 72nd minute by Luis Hector Cristaldo on Daisuke Oku gave Japan's Brazilian-born star Wagner Lopes a chance to tie the score with a penalty kick. Lopes did, sending goalkeeper Jose Carlos Fernandez the wrong way.
The draw gave Japan its first point of the tournament, but its overall poor performance will turn up the heat on Coach Philippe Troussier, who was charged with turning Japan into a competitive team by the time the country co-hosts the 2002 World Cup with South Korea.