Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paraguay thro to QF after passing Penalty test

14:00 GMT, June 29, 2010
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa

(5)0 - 0(3)

Paraguay win on Penalty Kicks.

Japan defender Yuichi Komano hit the bar in the penalty shootout against Paraguay to condemn his side to a 5-3 defeat. A dreadful game ended 0-0 after extra-time, but Paraguay now advance to the quarter-final.

With neither side able to make the breakthrough during 120 minutes of precious few goalscoring chances or notable incidents, it needed the first shootout of the 2010 World Cup to separate the two nations.
And it was Paraguay who emerged victorious after Japan defender Yuichi Komano, looking to make it 3-3, slammed his effort against the crossbar.
That proved to be the crucial miss as Paraguay scored all five of their efforts, with Oscar Cardozo casually slotting home the winning spot-kick to send his team wild.

Paraguay will now meet the winners of Tuesday's match between Spain and Portugal for a place in the semi-finals, while the Blue Samurai head home after seeing their own dreams of a maiden World Cup quarter-final ended.
There was little to separate the sides during an evenly-fought first half that produced only a couple of moments to excite the fans at Loftus Versfeld stadium.

Neither side came particularly close to snatching a late winner in the second half of extra-time, meaning this year's World Cup would have its first penalty shootout - with Paraguay taking the honours.

Scoring Summary


  • Man of the Match: Nelson Haedo Valdez


  • Man of the Match: Nelson Haedo Valdez - The Borussia Dortmund striker was an unexpected absentee from the starting line-up having impressed in South Africa so far and was one of the few players to look dangerous after appearing on the hour mark. As well as supplying clever movement, Valdez also scored his penalty and should be reinstated to the team when Paraguay face either Spain or Portugal in the quarter-finals.

  • Paraguay verdict: While Gerardo Martino's side continued to prove resolute in defence after conceding just one goal in the group stages, they lost some of the spark that saw them finish ahead of Slovakia, New Zealand and Italy in Group F. The decision to omit Valdez was a strange one and Paraguay looked brighter after his introduction. Roque Santa Cruz looked largely lifeless and it was his replacement, Oscar Cardozo, who scored the crucial penalty. They look ill-equipped for the next round.

  • Japan verdict: Gone was the side that dazzled in the defeat of Denmark. In a poor, poor game, Japan contributed to a succession of listless passes and a few missed chances. Daisuke Matsui rattled the bar in the first half but they struggled for inspiration in the final third. Having said that, few expected Japan to make it out of the group stages and a defeat on penalties in the second round is far from a disgrace for a side that struggled for form heading into the tournament. In the likes of Keisuke Honda, Yuto Nagatomo and Matsui they have players who have proved their quality on the biggest stage of all.

  • Could do better: Yuichi Komano - It is desperately harsh to single out one player from this aberration of a match, but when it really, truly mattered, Komano was found wanting as he was the only player to fail to score from 12 yards.

  • Stat attack: There had never been a penalty shootout at the World Cup that did not involve a European side until this game.

  • No comments:

    Post a Comment