Tuesday, 29th June 2010
Paraguay vs Japan
Paraguay have the chance to make it four South American teams in
the quarter-finals; and maybe even the semi-finals.
It took twenty minutes for the game to come to life: first Lucas
Barrios turned nicely for Paraguay and forced Eiji Kawashima to save with his foot; then,
at the other end, Paraguay's Justo Villar looked stretched as Daisuke Matsui curled the
ball onto the bar with some power.
Keisuke Honda seemed a little upset with himself shortly before the
break, but a goal would have been more than Japan deserved; taking into account their
overall performance during the first forty minutes.
Paraguay didn't deserve anything either. Maybe neither side really
wanted to be thrashed by Spain or Portugal in the quarter-final.
The most exciting thing happened on the hour, when Paraguay made a
substitution; Nelson Valdez on for Edgar Benitez.
Things almost livened up some ten minutes before extra-time would be
played; but, as with the previous 80 minutes, the releasing pass from both teams just had
no pace on it.
The vuvuzelas increased in volume when the 90th minute ticked in.
Sadly, even if the quality of play were to improve ten fold, ten times nothing is still
Thankfully, this will all be over in half an hour and then we can get
back to the real World Cup.
Into Extra Time.
If the players of Spain and Portugal were watching this, they probably
all fell asleep.
As a thank-you for not being the last Paraguayan player to be
substituted, Lucas Barrios headed goalwards in the 4th minute of extra-time, but much too
comfortable for Kawashima.
Then Nelson Valdez tried to get the final touch past Kawashima, before
the game needed penalties.
In the ninth minute of extra-time, Keisuke Honda's free-kick was going
wide but Villar wanted to come into the game, so hit it away for fun.
All the action happened in extra-time, as Edgar Barreto was next up;
to flick the ball over the Japanese crossbar.
So, from the fear of playing Spain or Portugal to the fear of not
playing at all. Two teams with fifteen minutes to do something, or continue with nothing.
Tense, nervous and lacking ambition - Paraguay and Japan did very
little to entertain the fans, although Japan did excite theirs for a split second.
Paraguay 0 Japan 0 - After Extra Time. (5:3 pens)
Paraguay started first.
1:0 Edgar Barreto - Took a deep breath and scored.
1:1 Yasuhito Endo - Raised his fist after sending Villar the wrong way.
2:1 Lucas Barrios - Looked casual but only just out of reach.
2:2 Makoto Hasebe - Scored and kissed the stars.
3:2 Cristian Riveros - Easily taken.
3:2 Yuichi Komano - Hit hard and high; onto the crossbar.
4:2 Nelson Valdez - Crashed the ball home, then fell to his knees.
4:3 Keisuke Honda - Calmly side-footed.
5:3 Oscar Cardozo - No sense of pressure, so slow and cool.
Paraguay reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
1 Justo Villar; 3 Claudio Morel Rodriguez, 21 Antolín Alcaraz, 14 Paulo Da Silva, 6
Carlos Bonet; 16 Cristian Riveros, 20 Nestor Ortigoza, 13 Enrique Vera; 9 Roque Santa
Cruz, 10 Edgar Benitez, 19 Lucas Barrios.
21 Eiji Kawashima; 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 4 Marcus Tulio Tanaka, 22 Yuji Nakazawa, 3 Yuichi
Komano; 7 Yasuhito Endo, 2 Yuki Abe, 17 Makoto Hasebe; 18 Keisuke Honda, 16 Yoshito Okubo,
8 Daisuke Matsui.
Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
60 Mins (Paraguay) - 18 Nelson Valdez on for 10 Edgar Benítez
65 Mins (Japan) - 9 Shinji Okazaki on for 8 Daisuke Matsui
75 Mins (Paraguay) - 8 Edgar Barreto on for 20 Nestor Ortigoza
81 Mins (Japan) - 14 Kengo Nakamura on for 2 Yuki Abe
94 Mins (Paraguay) - 7 Oscar Cardozo on for 9 Roque Santa Cruz
106 Mins (Japan) - 11 Keiji Tamada on for 16 Yoshito Okubo
57 Mins - Daisuke Matsui (Japan)
72 Mins - Yuto Nagatomo (Japan)
90+3 Mins - Keisuke Honda (Japan)
113 Mins - Yasuhito Endo (Japan)
128 Mins - Cristian Riveros (Paraguay)
0 Red Cards.
Of the six games played between the two teams Paraguay have won two, lost one and drawn
To the Quarter-final in Jo'burg Ellis Park.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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