- Play by
- Man of
Paraguay Prevail In Shoot-Out
Makoto Hasebe of Japan challenged Cristian Riveros of Paraguay
Japan and Paraguay failed to ignite during their round of 16 game at the Loftus Stadium in Tshwane on Tuesday evening, after playing to a goalless stale mate through ninety minutes and injury time a penalty shoot out was needed to decide the winner.
It was new ground for both these teams as neither had previously been in a shoot out at a FIFA World Cup Finals previously.
It was to be Paraguay’s night as they prevailed winning five three on penalties. The Paraguayan’s are the fourth South American team through to the quarter finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Yuichi Komano missed the vital third spot kick for Asia’s last remaining hope at the tournament.
In normal time Japan hit the Paraguayan cross bar when Daisuke Matsui’s thundering shot from distance beat Paraguay keeper Justo Villar but not the woodwork, while Roque Santa Cruz missed a host of close range efforts for Paraguay.
Japan went on the offence from the kick-off as they attacked down the left wing with Okubo driving an effort just wide of goal in the first minute, thereafter it was a nervy and cagey opening to the match with neither team willing to be too adventurous as they were scared of failure.
In the 20th minute the game rose from its slumber somewhat, it took some neat skill from Barrios to spin past Komano on the edge of the Japan 18 yard area. He shot for goal only for Kawashima to throw his body on the line and block the ball.
A minute later Okubo was dispossessed of the ball but it fell to Matsui who went for what looked like an audacious attempt at goal from 25 yards out, his powerful shot rose above the outstretched hands of Villar and smashed onto the Paraguayan cross bar.
Santa Cruz spurned a great chance on 29 minutes, a corner taken by Morel from the left was not cleared by the Japanese defence and the bobbling ball fell to Cruz, from around ten yards from goal but he pulled his shot wide.
Five minutes from half time Matsui was able to escape from Morel and laid the ball off to Honda who went for goal at the first time of asking, he skewed his shot from the edge of the yard area wide. The first half finished goalless.
After the restart it took a desperate tackle by Tulio to stop Ortigoza who had broken into the penalty area after he had cleared away from three Japanese defenders in the 50th minute.
Six minutes later it took another fine interception to stop Paraguay, this time Nakazawa came in the way to block what looked like a certain goal from Benitez.
Japan were allowing Benitez way too much room on the left and in the 58th minute Nakazawa cleared another of his dangerous passes from the corner. Cruz played the corner on the left short to Morel who curled the ball goal ward, Rivieros managed to get behind the ball and headed it goal wards but it was straight at Nakazawa who easily brought it under control.
As the action fizzled out in normal time the game headed into extra time, in the first minute of extra time Kengo Nakamura’s effort from distance was cleared for a corner from which Okazaki was unable to control his header and directed the ball over the cross bar.
In the 95th minute Kawashima thwarted Barrios, saving his close range header after he was able to jump up and direct a cross from the right towards goal.
Then on 98 minutes Morel managed to cut in from the left and played the ball to Valdez who managed to pass Nakazawa. As he got closer to goal Kawashima came off his line and blocked his close range attempt at goal.
Endo caused panic in the Paraguay defence when his 99th minute free kick passed the wall, Villar stretched to palm it away just as it bounced in front of him and then in the 100th minute Edgar Baretto dragged his shot over from in front of goal with his back to Kawashima’s goal.
Four minutes from the end of regulation time Tamada stormed down the left wing and raced down the line before cutting in the ball to Okazaki but there were no Japanese players in the Paraguay penalty box to meet his cross from the left.
The drama of penalty kicks was needed to decide a winner.
Paraguay went first with Edgar Barreto, Barrios, and Riveros scoring, for Japan Endo and Hasebe converted their opening two kicks, the decisive moment coming when Komano struck the wood work with their third spot kick.
Valdez scored their fourth kick and even though Honda converted Japan’s fourth, Cardoza sent Kawashima the wrong way to see Paraguay through to a 5-3 victory in the shoot out.