The final two Last 16 games were played today and it was inevitable that at least one of them would go to penalties, after todays games we would know the lineup for the 4 Quarter Final matches, and potentially 4 South American teams in the Last 8.

PARAGUAY

0

 

JAPAN

0

         

PENALTIES

5

   

3

         
E.BARRETO GOAL   ENDO GOAL
BARRIOS GOAL   HASEBE GOAL
RIVEROS GOAL   KOMANO MISS
VALDEZ GOAL   HONDA GOAL
CARDOZO GOAL      
         
1.Justo VILLAR     1.Eiji KAWASHIMA  
3.Claudio MOREL     2.Yuki ABE OUT – 81
6.Carlos BONET     3.Yuichi KOMANO  
9.Roque SANTA CRUZ OUT – 94   4.Marcus Tulio TANAKA  
10.Edgar BENITEZ OUT – 60   5.Yuto NAGATOMO – Y  
13.Enrique VERA     7.Yasuhito ENDO – Y  
14.Paulo DA SILVA     8.Daisuke MATSUI – Y OUT – 65
16.Cristian RIVEROS – Y     16.Yoshito OKUBO OUT – 106
19.Lucas BARRIOS     17.Makoto HASEBE ©  
20.Nestor ORTIGOZA OUT – 75   18.Keisuke HONDA – Y  
21.Antolin ALCARAZ     22.Yuji NAKAZAWA  
         
Subs     Subs  
7.Oscar CARDOZO IN – 94   9.Shinji OKAZAKI IN – 65
8.Edgar BARRETO IN – 75   11.Keiji TAMADA IN – 106
18.Nelson VALDEZ IN – 60   14.Kengo NAKAMURA IN – 81

MY THOUGHTS

One of the worst games of the tournament, and I’m not surprised both teams with so much to play for, either team with a win would move to the Quarter Finals for the first time in their history.

Not lots to talk about in the 120 minutes, in the first half Barrios made an excellent turn in Japan’s box but took it with his right foot instead of his left and it was a weak shot, then the other moment to mention was the impressive Matsui had a long curling effort crash off the crossbar.

Sunderland bound Cristian Riveros looks a good player, neat and tidy on the ball, not outstanding skill but a good footballer.

From the start of the second half it did look a forgone conclusion that this match was going to penalties, and after 120 minutes penalties it was.

Paraguay dispatched their penalties with accuracy and Kawashima maybe should have done better with Barrios’s attempt, but there always has to be a fall guy and this time it was Komano of Japan that will have nightmares tonight, crashing his attempt off the crossbar.

Okada’s men bowed their heads and will leave the tournament, I think if they had shown the same attacking spirit they showed against Denmark they could have been in the Quarters, they didn’t and it is Gerardo Martino’s men that will face Spain in the Quarter Finals, they will need to play 200 times better to have any chance.

SPAIN

1

 

PORTUGAL

0

David VILLA (63′)        
         
1.Iker CASILLAS     1.EDUARDO  
3.Gerard PIQUE     2.Bruno ALVES  
5.Carles PUYOL     6.Ricardo CARVALHO  
6.Andres INIESTA     7.Cristiano RONALDO  
7.David VILLA OUT – 88   11.SIMAO OUT – 72
8.XAVI     15.PEPE OUT – 72
9.Fernando TORRES OUT – 58   16.Raul MEIRELES  
11.Joan CAPDEVILA     18.HUGO ALMEIDA OUT – 58
14.Xavi ALONSO – Y OUT – 93   19.TIAGO – Y  
15.Sergio RAMOS     21.Ricardo COSTA – R  
16.Sergio BUSQUETS     23.Fabio COENTRAO  
         
Subs     Subs  
4.Carlos MARCHENA IN – 93   8.Pedro MENDES IN – 72
18.PEDRO IN – 88   9.LIEDSON IN – 72
19.Fernando LLORENTE IN – 58   10.DANNY IN – 58

MY THOUGHTS

A decent game not the end to end battle everyone was hoping for, but both teams at times showed signs of great football it was Spain in the end that had the most quality and advance to the Last 8, the first half I thought Portugal had some of the better of the play and looked most likely to score, the second half however was all Spain, controlled the play, Portugal were chasing shadows going after the ball and never troubled Spanish defence.

Fabio Coentrao again was very impressive I would be very surprised if he is still playing for Benfica at the start of the season, I hope for their sake he will be as his stock is only going to rise, showed that he can defend, then always looking to burst forward, still has a lot to learn but is is still young.

Ronaldo did very little to note of, can’t remember any points to bring up, he seemed to disapeer the more the game went on, he looked a very frustrated figure, and this has been confirmed with his post match interviews.

Spain played relatively well, I’m going to put my neck out now and say I am starting to dislike Spain’s tiki-taka football, I just reminds me of Arsenal on those days when they frustrate the hell out of you.

It’s all too pedestraian for me, no penetration, unlike Brazil, Germany and Argentina, all Spain’s play is outside the box, condensed in the middle, for me they need to get wide and spread the defence, very frustrating to watch, I prefer to see teams with a purpose and Spain for me just don’t do that.

Torres still isn’t looking himself, I am not sure why Del Bosque continues to pick him, Llorente came on and did more in 30 minutes than Torres has done in 4 matches.

Spain are a really good team, I don’t see them as favourites though, I would actually love Paraguay to cause a shock.

QUARTER FINAL – SPAIN v PARAGUAY

Spain will be heavy favourites and Paraguay haven’t scared anyone with their brand of football, I would expect Spain to win this, however Paraguay have the defenders to frustrate the Spanish and have some quality upfront to maybe cause 1 or 2 problems.

I’m hoping for a great game, and a little part of me wants a shock.

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