BBC Sport world-cup-2010


Paraguay 0-0 Japan (5-3 pens)

By Sam Lyon & Jonathan Stevenson
  1. 09:05 Commentary  

    Around 40 hours since England were unceremoniously dumped out of the World Cup, the fallout continues. The players and staff arrived back at Heathrow this morning just after 6am and it was the sort of homecoming you might have expected - muted. Their stay on the airport tarmac was about as brief as their stay in South Africa before they were whisked away in blacked-out limos, and now the considered analysis of where the Three Lions go from here really cracks into gear. Well, for some anyway.

  2. 09:09 Commentary  

    For others, this Tuesday is no more or less glamorous than World Cup day 19. For all the thrill of the early exhibitions of underdog glory, the likes of Mexico, Chile and the United States are starting to fall away, BUT at least one of Paraguay and Japan will provide something of a surprise force in the quarter-finals - those two meet at 1500 BST. And then this evening it's back to a couple of heavyweights in Spain v Portugal. Without England, this World Cup is really kicking into gear isn't it?

  3. 09:17 Commentary  

    Yep, it's the final day of round two action - can you believe after today we've only got eight more World Cup matches to ingest before it's all over? Woe is me. Anyway, let's enjoy it while it lasts huh? We now know six of our quarter-finalists - Uruguay, Ghana, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands and Brazil - and whether Paraguay or Japan, or Spain or Portugal, join them, I'm not sure many would have predicted that collection at the start of the tournament. I won't lie - I like the look of those bad boys. Something for everyone in there I reckon.

  4. 09:24 Commentary  

    As always, though, this page is nothing without you so I'd love for you all to get involved with your chat of the day. England comments? Yes. World Cup opinion? Absolutely. Inane banter? Within reason. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), send me a Tweet @sampatricklyon or get cracking on 606. As James Cordon and Dizzee Rascal sing in that increasingly annoying ditty... "Shout, Shout, Let it all out..."

  5. 09:27 Commentary BREAKING NEWS  

    And, at the risk of going over old ground, here's a line to kick things off for you - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has apologised to the Football Association over Frank Lampard's disallowed goal against Germany and said Fifa "will naturally take on board the discussion on technology and will have the first opportunity to discuss this in July at the business meeting of the International FA Board".

  6. Twitter  

    From chrisharris1975: "Is it wrong to enjoy the World Cup more now England are out?"

  7. 09:35 Commentary  

    More from Fifa president Sepp Blatter: "It is obvious that after the experience so far in this World Cup it would be a nonsense to not reopen the file of technology at the business meeting of the International FA Board in July. Personally I deplore it when you see evident referee mistakes. The only thing I can do is yesterday I have spoken to the two federations (England and Mexico) directly concerned by referees mistakes. I have expressed to them apologies and I understand they are not happy and that people are criticising."

  8. 606  

    From matt: "Can't see Japan getting past Paraguary today to be honest, they have the work ethic but not the all-round game required at this stage of the competition. I'll be happy to be proven wrong mind."

  9. SMS  

    From James: "I have sat at work constantly refreshing on my phone since the start of the World Cup - what am I meant to do at work after the final?!"
    I'm going to watch all the games 'as live' on a loop until 2012 I reckon.

  10. 09:47 Commentary  

    England manager (for the next fortnight, at least) Fabio Capello has just been pictured entering his London home following his arrival from South Africa - I imagine a press pack is just what you want to see when you limp in after a 16-hour round-trip halfway round the world. Good for him. Will his first task be to peruse the job section of the daily newspaper or set about formulating a plan for the future of England football, though?

  11. SMS  

    From Tom at work in Newcastle: "Hopefully now the World Cup will be like Euro 2008 - good football, pick a team to support match by match, and no worries about who England might have to face. It's definitely more enjoyable without England!"

  12. 09:59 Commentary  

    Turns out Fabio Capello has an ally in former Republic of Ireland midfielder Roy Keane doesn't it? Never backwards in coming forwards, the now Ipswich boss said of England: 'To keep criticising and questioning the manager is crazy. People keep talking about world class players but who are they? Fabio is absolutely brilliant and England are lucky to have him." It's not the first time Keane has spoken out about England's lack of world class players - see 1994 - but you have to say, he's got a point... hasn't he?

  13. Twitter  

    From MusicRab: "What to do about England? A manager change is hiding bigger problems. So keep Capello and FA to do a six-month investigation."

  14. 606  

    From collie21: "Ah I see the aftershocks are still rumbling on. Anyway... this World Cup has Brazil-Spain written all over it. Granted Arjen Robben might have something to say about it..."

  15. 10:08 Commentary  

    Ah yes, Brazil. Another cracking win for the Samba Boys yesterday over a talented Chile side, and yet Dunga - believe it or not - is possibly under as much pressure as Fabio Capello right now. Brilliant. You're a World Cup-winning midfielder, possibly leading Brazil to a sixth World Cup triumph as manager, and you're under pressure. And they say England fans are demanding?

  16. Twitter  

    From timlane76: "Why is the manager always the fall guy. Maybe the Football Association should look at itself and wonder what has gone wrong."

  17. 10:17 Commentary  

    England - and indeed any nation suffering World Cup disappointment this year - can, however, comfort themselves with the fact that whatever happens, it's not quite as bad as France. Fifa president Sepp Blatter has had his say on that, too, reacting to reports suggesting the French government will launch an inquiry into the team's World Cup failure by saying: "In France they have made an 'affair d'etat' with football, but football remains in the hands of the federation. French football can rely on Fifa in case of political interference." Busy boy isn't he ol' Sepp?

  18. 10:26 Commentary  

    I know I've said this before, but is it me or are the Netherlands creeping up on the outside as a better than half-decent bet to win this thing? Yes, they face Brazil next up and yes they've not really faced a crack outfit yet, but again against Slovakia yesterday they showed discipline, shape and yet ambition in attack. And Arjen Robben is looking fit again. They will be Brazil's toughest test by a long way next up, surely.

  19. Twitter  

    From HariboKid: "Am I the only one who is wishing every game goes to ET and penalties now? I have a feeling there will be no pens this time, though!"

  20. 10:33 Commentary  

    Wigan fans - put your World Cup troubles to one side, for you have signed Argentinian striker Mauro Boselli from Estudiantes for an undisclosed fee. That's the only positive I can find about the end of the World Cup in just under a fortnight - the transfer window will spark into life big time then, right? The gossip is already kicking into overtime - love it.

  21. 10:41 Commentary  

    Talking of gossip, already the talk is about which group of players can take England forward after the South Africa debacle. Step forward a bunch of poor kids with barely any top-flight or big-match experience under their belt so we can thrust weighty expectation upon their fragile shoulders and watch on in horror when the poor little blighters fail to turn into Ronaldo overnight. Yes, Jack Wilshere, Connor Wickham, Jack Rodwell, Kieran Gibbs - I'm looking at you. Anyone else?

  22. 606  

    From Alexandereski: "Morning Chaps. Early morning predos from a very hot and sunny Russian day. Japan 2 -1 Paraguay. Spain 1-0 Portugal (aet)."

  23. 10:53 Commentary  

    If you're looking for some inspiration/ideas about just who holds the future of English football in their hands player-wise, then - bear in mind only last month England won their first European Under-17 Championship title with a 2-1 win over Spain. England's last age-group title was in 1993, with a side that contained Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Robbie Fowler and Sol Campbell - so the conversion rate can work if the talent is there. How many of these names will be around at the 2018 World Cup?

  24. 11:01 Commentary  

    I can also bring you news of the TV split of quarter-finals this week. ITV will broadcast Friday's last-eight matches, Netherlands v Brazil and Uruguay v Ghana, while the BBC will show Saturday's games, Argentina v Germany and Paraguay/Japan v Spain/Portugal. The BBC will also, of course, be broadcasting the men's semi-finals (including Andy Murray perhaps?) from Wimbledon on the Friday and the women's final on Saturday, so really there is little need for you to leave the house this weekend at all. Happy days.

  25. SMS  

    From Steve in Swindon: "Re: 1053 - Hate to be so downbeat but would that be the same Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Sol Campbell who never got further than the quarter-finals o f a major tournament with England?"

  26. SMS  

    From Pete the Spaniard living in Edinburgh: "RE: 1041 - what about Victor Moses, Jonjo Shelvey, Craig Eastmond, Henry Lansbury? Some good young talent out there. Forget 2014 but if the FA sort themselves out and develop youngsters technically and not just in terms of pace and strength, 2018 could be good for England. Focus."

  27. SMS  

    From Anon: "Re 10.53 - half of the under-17's would have drifted into the lower leagues due to the top clubs' insistence on buying kids from abroad. Until the four-foreign player only rule comes in we can forget the world cup/euros."

  28. 11:18 Commentary  

    One team that has no such worries about waiting until 2018 for a new crop of top players, though, is Spain (all right, that was a ham-fisted link if ever there was one). Anyway, Vicente Del Bosque's side is the sixth-youngest at the tournament with an average age of 26 years and 129 days, according to our friends at Infostrada (Germany are the second youngest with an average of 25 years, 128 days) - and so the current European champions have plenty of legs left in the squad at this tournament and even the next two. They face Portugal today - and what a 'local derby' that promises to be.

  29. 11:22 Commentary  

    And the day's first match and penultimate second-round tie between Paraguay and Japan provides an interesting - and telling - potential subtext, in that should Paraguay win through, every quarter-final will have a South American team in it. This really is looking like a tide-turning tournament in that respect - Europe no longer the hub of 'premium' football?

  30. 606  

    From Hypernovae: "Tonight's game could be d-day for Christiano Ronaldo. Whilst there is no doubting his exemplary skills, it's intriguing to note that he is exactly the same age (25) as Maradonna was in 1986 when he led Argentina to the trophy. If he wants to be remembered as one of the greatest then tonight's game could be the most crucial of his career."

  31. 11:33 Commentary  

    Spain, of course, started slowly at this tournament with their 1-0 reverse to Switzerland, but followed that with two wins and I'm sure they'd like to think they're peaking at the right time. Funnily enough, it was two years ago today that Spain beat Germany 1-0 in the 2008 European Championship Final in Vienna. An omen?

  32. Twitter  

    From yedaw1: "I really think that Japan - and Asia - need and deserve a win against Paraguay today, they are a great team to watch."

  33. SMS  

    From Gordon from London: "I can't wait to watch Keisuke Honda for Japan today."

  34. 11:44 Commentary  

    Portugal, meanwhile, are the only side left in the competition who have yet to concede a goal - and they boast a decent recent record against Spain, who have managed just one win over their cross-border rivals in the last 10 meetings. On paper, it's a doozy of a match-up, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Villa, Xavi, etc all capable of genius - in fact, I can't think of a better way to spend a Tuesday evening, can you?

  35. SMS  

    From Anon: "You talk about today's Iberian encounter being a tasty derby. But what about an Argentina-Brazil World Cup final? That would be massive! I should really stop thinking about this stuff and do some work. It's been two weeks..."

  36. 11:57 Commentary  

    But while Spain look to build on their 2008 success with a long run (possibly all the way) at this World Cup - England are having to reassess all things (not so) bright and (not so) beautiful about their team/manager/you name it, going forward. Frank Lampard, for one, wants to be part of it, despite the fact he'll be 36 at the 2014 World Cup. "I want to carry on with England. It's important players go away and don't listen to it and concentrate on our jobs now." So if our 2018 prospects look OK (see 10:53), what about 2014? The Guardian has had its say - and only Wayne Rooney survives from the current crop of regulars. Is it really time to rip it up and start again? 

  37. Twitter  

    From tipofthediamond: "RE: 10.53 - I thought a summer of pressure was bad enough, eight years of it is going to be crushing!"

  38. 12:08 Commentary  

    Just like Frank Lampard, Fabio Capello insists he wants to carry on with England, too. Regardless of the Football Association's intentions, the chat on who might succeed the Italian should he go is already rife. Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson appear to be early front-runners - though we understand the latter will take over Liverpool before Thursday - and David Beckham is getting a lot of love too. All I'll say is that, for my money, I'm not sure Capello has become a bad coach overnight... has he?

  39. SMS  

    From Anon: "So who else reckons that the Englishman who has had by far the best World Cup is Howard Webb! A faultless performance last night again, hope he refs the final!"

  40. Twitter  

    From vjanjic: "Capello acts like a dictator, and that's not the way to manage a national team... especially a foreign one."

  41. SMS  

    From Anon: "Re:11.57 - Frank Lampard wants to carry on with England? That's nice, I'd like to play for England too but just like Frank I'm not good enough!!"

  42. 12:17 Commentary  

    Right, new game for the next 45 minutes or so - I want your top three best and worst players at the World Cup so far. Ready? Go.

  43. 606  

    From faranjiniho: "RE: 12:17 - can we do the top 23 worst players instead of the top 3? Then we can name the entire England squad..."

  44. SMS  

    From Sunil: "Three best - Benaglio, Ozil and Robinho. Three worst - England, Italy and France. I know you said players but collectively they were shocking!"

  45. Twitter  

    From McShambles: "Best: Honda, Higuain, Maicon. Worst: Rooney, Marchetti, Anelka."

  46. 12:31 Commentary  

    Ouch. I think it's fair to say the England team are receiving a bit of a kicking from you lot in terms of who might represent the tournament's biggest flops so far. Lot of love for Maicon, Robben, Honda, Sneijder, Tevez, Villa and Forlan, though. Hard to disagree with any of those - though I'm surprised no-one has pinpointed goal MACHINE Robert Vittek...?

  47. 12:37 Commentary  

    Other notable mentions for the "flop" category - Sepp Blatter for a lack of goal-line technology and the vuvuzelas it would appear. Come on, though, surely we all love those noisy little things? If not, there is the option of blocking them out... erm, apparently.

  48. SMS  

    From eternaloptimist: "Now that England are out, what about the other nations in the UK for 2014? Scotland must be better by then (please!)."

  49. 606  

    From Frodo_MUFC: "Capello has not become a bad coach overnight, however that does not mean that he is the right man for the job. England need to move forward now, blood young players and build for 2014 and beyond."

  50. 12:45 Commentary  

    Frodo_MUFC, it would appear, is singing from the same hymn sheet as a certain Alan Shearer, who told our man in Cape Town Chris Bevan: "I would be very surprised if Capello is still in charge for their next game, which is a friendly against Hungary on 11 August... he has basically been told his position is in doubt by the Football Association. Before the World Cup he said he would be disappointed if England did not get to the final. They fell a long way short of that. The majority of the blame has to lie with Capello."

  51. SMS  

    From Anon: "Ireland will be at the 2014 World Cup. We have some very exciting youngsters that will be maturing in about four years."

  52. SMS  

    From Gordon: "Hope the quarter finals get as exciting as the first round - Ghana, Japan coming from the outside and getting into the semis. Would love to see a non favourite winner."

  53. 13:00 Commentary  

    Awesome response to that 'best' and 'worst' question - nice one. Time/space restraints mean it's impossible for me to publish even a small percentage, but a quick glance would suggest Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil is your star turn, with Wayne Rooney, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrice Evra your biggest disappointments. That trio return home with a "could do better" note from teacher - but there is still plenty of time for those left in the tournament to make a name for themselves. Starting, of course, with the Paraguayans and Japanese...

  54. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan in Cape Town  

    On Twitter: "Today is the wettest weather in Cape Town since the start of the World Cup - and we've seen some rain here! Unlikely to suit Spain/Portugal."

  55. 13:11 Commentary  

    It might not be the most glamorous of ties on paper, folks, but the way Japan played in their impressive defeat of Denmark in the last group game and the confidence that must be flowing through Paraguay's veins after topping a World Cup group for the first time in its history should lend itself to some tip-top action in Pretoria.

  56. 13:17 Commentary  

    My players to watch this afternoon: For Paraguay, supporters of the Premier League will be familiar with Roque Santa Cruz, but maybe not so much Oscar Cardozo, a striker who has been heavily linked with a move to England this summer. He has not scored in South Africa yet, but he might just fire against Japan's slightly fragile defence. For Japan, Keisuke Honda has impressed many of you, but Daisuke Matsui has been their unsung hero for me - quality defensive screen in midfield that has allowed Japan's attackers to impress.

  57. Twitter  

    From TimBMiles: "Japan have played some really exciting football and there are signs of real quality there. Come on Japan!"

  58. 606  

    From 4fabregas: "It's a sad state of affairs that all we have left to cheer for is Howard Webb, a man whom we have been collectively berating for the past 12 months! On the evidence of some of the refereeing so far, perhaps we'll give our guys an easier time next season, though I highly doubt it."

  59. Twitter  

    From mattyapc: "Of the seven teams I had in sweepstakes this year, only Paraguay are left in now. I really really want them to win the Cup!"

  60. 13:30 Commentary  

    So can Japan keep Asia's World Cup dream alive single-handedly, or will Paraguay continue the South American dominance with a first ever appearance in a quarter-final? The man who has all the answers is Jonathan Stevenson, your host for all the action this afternoon. I've been Sam Lyon and I'll see you all soon, nice one.

  61. 13:34 Commentary  

    I’ve always wondered how an internet round of applause would work - top work Sam Lyon, lovely stuff. Welcome back to Johannesburg - I’m Jonathan Stevenson, and I’ll be bringing you the final two last 16 games as we complete our World Cup quarter-final line-up. Happy Matchday 19.

  62. 13:37 Commentary  

    Here’s the deal for today: at 1500 BST at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Paraguay and Japan meet; while at 1930 BST at Cape Town Stadium we’ve got European giants Spain and Portugal going head-to-head. Quite honestly I’d be surprised if you hadn’t started salivating already.

  63. 13:41 Commentary  

    Would you refresh your page? Thanks awfully. Now, I’m sure Sam will have mentioned it, but if you didn’t get round to dropping him a missive, why not hit me instead? I mean, I’ve given you my contact details enough, haven’t I? Oh, here you are again then: send me a text to 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide); join the party of debate on 606; or tweet me @Stevo_football. Don’t force me to make some up, please.

  64. Twitter  

    From casdan34: "I'm half English, half Japanese. I never thought I would be wearing my Japan shirt now and have my England one in the wash."

  65. SMS  

    From Jamie: "England should watch out for Wales in the Euros. This young Welsh side will qualify for the 2014 World Cup."

  66. 606  

    From To conquer Eboue you must become Eboue: "Going into hospital soon, surgery tomorrow. I'm really concerned that I'll miss Portugal/Spain."

  67. 13:58 Commentary Paraguay v Japan line-ups:  

    Paraguay: 1-Justo Villar; 14-Paulo Da Silva, 3-Claudio Morel, 13-Enrique Vera, 6-Carlos Bonet, 20-Nestor Ortigoza, 21-Antolin Alcaraz, 10-Edgar Benitez, 16-Cristian Riveros, 9-Roque Santa Cruz, 19-Lucas Barrios.
    Japan: 21-Eiji Kawashima; 2-Yuki Abe, 22-Yuji Nakazawa, 4-Tulio, 3-Yuichi Komano; 5-Yuto Nagatomo, 16-Yoshito Okubo, 7-Yasuhito Endo, 17-Makoto Hasebe, 8-Daisuke Matsui, 18-Keisuke Honda.
    Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium).

  68. 14:02 Commentary  

    Other things that have happened on this World Cup Tuesday: Fifa president Sepp Blatter has apologised to England and Mexico for the shocking refereeing decisions which befell them at the weekend; the England team have arrived home after their abysmal campaign; and Roy Hodgson is set to be appointed the new manager of Liverpool.

  69. SMS  

    From Anon: "Keep an eye on Sunderland's new signing Christian Riveros (free) today - he's just been announced as Fifa's best player of the tournament so far according to the club website."

  70. SMS  

    From Ben: "I hope Honda has got a bit more fuel left in him yet!"

  71. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria:  

    "Less than an hour until kick-off and I am seriously hoping that most of the ocean of empty seats in front me are occupied by kick-off. I think this round of 16 has been broadly disappointing - hopefully we'll have a close match to enjoy today."

  72. 14:15 Commentary Stevo's Predo:  
  73. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher  

    On Twitter: "No changes for Japan, just the six for Paraguay, with striker Oscar Cardozo one of those relegated to the bench."

  74. 14:22 Commentary  

    Either Paraguay or Japan will create history today, as neither of them has reached the World Cup quarter-finals before. Paraguay were knocked out in the round of 16 in 1986 (England), 1998 (France) and 2002 (Germany), while Japan’s sole excursion this far ended on home soil in 2002 when they went down 1-0 to Turkey.

  75. 606  

    From Alexandereski: "(See 14:15) Hehe, my predo earlier today was the other way. Japan 2-1 Paraguay. May the best man win."

    Amen to that.

  76. Twitter  

    From 2JamesR2: "Everyone who asked me who will win the World Cup were told Paraguay. They did beat Brazil and Argentina in qualifying."

  77. 14:34 Commentary  

    The winners of this contest, by the way, will face the winners of this evening's Cape Town showdown between Spain and Portugal at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday at 1930 BST. You probably knew that already, right?

  78. SMS  

    From Mark: "Paraguay should beware of conceding free-kicks within 30 metres of their goal as it looked as though Japan have a new Beckham against the Danes."

  79. 14:40 Commentary Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino:  

    "Well of course we came to the World Cup with dreams and we're working on it, we're still in the race. We're making a huge effort to improve our ball possession as I think this is the basis of our ambition in the World Cup."

    the ."basis of our ambition in the World Cup
  80. 14:45 Commentary Japan coach Takeshi Okada:  

    "It will be a challenge for us as we try to get into the last eight for the first time, so we will be doing our absolute utmost to address this challenge."

  81. Twitter  

    From our friends at Infostrada Sports: "There have been 21 goals in the last 16. If six are scored today it will be the highest scoring since it was re-introduced in 1986."

  82. 606  

    From Jimmy Jazz: "Santa Cruz ia a big tumshie. The lad obviously has talent but I'd have Kris Boyd before him every day of the week."

  83. 14:54 Commentary  

    Led out by their captains, Justo Villar of Paraguay and Makoto Hasebe of Japan, our two teams emerge at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria for this World Cup last 16 contest. Which means one thing: anthem time.

  84. 14:58 Commentary  

    Right people, you're back with Sam Lyon due to a couple of technical issues out in Johannesburg so do the ol' refresh if you don't mind. We're moments away from kick-off - let's get it on.

  85. 15:00 KICK-OFF  

    Japan gets us up and running at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

  86. 1 min Commentary  

    Just 20 seconds in and we have our first shot on goal - Yoshito Okubo latching on to a wayward pass in the Paraguay midfield and firing a stinging low drive a yard wide of Justo Villar's goal from 25 yards out.

  87. 5 mins Commentary  

    Paraguay have shaken off that early slip up and settled rather nicely into their passing game. Japan happy to sit and soak at the moment.

  88. 8 mins Commentary  

    Cracking ball into the middle from the right by Roque Santa Cruz and Paraguay's Edgar Benitez does his best to get his head on it in the box - only to be wiped out in the air by his own player, the onrushing Cristian Riveros. Chance gone.

  89. 10 mins Commentary  

    Paraguay enjoying plenty of the ball in their own half, but when they get within 50-odd yards of the Japan box, they are confronted by a wave of blue shirts. Still, it's the red and whites on top at the moment.

  90. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "You're going to see this for the first 20-25 minutes. Neither team have ever made it through to a World Cup quarter-final before so they're working really hard and playing fast football, but there are a lot of mistakes. They need to settle down."

  91. 15 mins Commentary  

    Japan free-kick 30 yards out - and we saw how dangerous they can be from here against Denmark last time out - but Yasuhito Endo's whipped effort is headed away by Paulo da Silva and a rare Japan foray into the opposition's half comes to nothing. Both sides reluctant to give anything away here.

  92. 19 mins Commentary  

    It's a real midfield battle out in Pretoria so far, with Japan and Paraguay favouring discipline over ambition at the moment. Needs a spark, this game.

  93. 21 mins Commentary  

    And that was almost it - Paraguay frontman Lucas Barrios rolls his foot over the ball and turns deliciously inside the Japan box to find himself one-on-one, only for his low effort to be kept out brilliantly by keeper Eiji Kawashima.

  94. 22 mins HITS THE WOODWORK  

    Japan bounce and come within a whisker of the opener themselves, Daisuke Matsui swinging a dipping effort from range right-footed that beats the keeper but not the crossbar. Close.

  95. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "I've been very impressed with Matsui in this tournament. The keeper was well beaten then."

  96. 26 mins Commentary  

    A flurry of activity... and then not very much. I wonder if these two scared themselves by breaking into the opposition third?

  97. 29 mins Commentary  

    Half chance for Paraguay as a corner is only half defended and the ball falls to Roque Santa Cruz 16 yards out - the Manchester City frontman's snap-shot flies harmlessly wide, though.

  98. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green  

    "If you didn't hear Chris Waddle's rant after the England-Germany game, then find a place where you can listen to it."
    For example, this very website.

  99. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "Japan are just playing too deep at the moment. I don't know what their tactics are - are they playing for extra-time perhaps?"

  100. 38 mins Commentary  

    Another free-kick to Japan, but Roque Santa Cruz does well to head another whipped effort from Yasuhito Endo away danger. I won't lie, that counts as a 'highlight' in the last 10 minutes or so. Yep.

  101. 40 mins Commentary  

    Better, much better from Japan. That man Daisuke Matsui breaks with pace from midfield, drives at the Paraguay defence, and squares it to Keisuke Honda, whose left-foot shot flies across goal and wide.

  102. 45 mins HALF-TIME Paraguay 0-0 Japan  

    It's fair to say this one has yet to catch fire, but with so much at stake perhaps that is unsurprising. Dare I say, though, both sides have shown glimpses - albeit briefly - of what they might be capable of in the final third?

  103. Contributor BBC Sport's Steve Wilson  

    "Well, it's not the greatest game of the World Cup so far."

  104. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria:  

    "Not a great half of football, not by any stretch. What I will say is that this game still obviously hangs in the balance, which is more than I could about a considerable number of the round of 16 matches after the first half."

  105. 15:52 Commentary  

    Is it too cheeky to ask you to kindly refresh your page again? Sorry for the inconvenience, but you're back with Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg. Hi!

  106. 15:54 Commentary  

    Turns out it's not just England's footballers who struggle with technical problems - I've had a few myself. Anyway, I'm back in the room, and you're back right next door to Soccer City. Those Japanese know how to hit a football, don't they? If only they could get closer to Paraguay's goal.

  107. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "There's not a lot to say. Both teams need to up the tempo and improve the quality. Japan must push further up the pitch and put Paraguay under more pressure. Paraguay need to deliver better crosses into the box. Both coaches have got a lot of work to do at half-time."

  108. 606  

    From Aarfy_Aardvark: "This World Cup could do with a penalty shoot-out."

  109. 16:02 Commentary Paraguay 0-0 Japan  

    Let's forget about our goalless first half and think positively about what the future holds. Japan have an on-pitch huddle, the big show offs, and we're back under way in Pretoria.

  110. 48 mins Commentary  

    Oh who am I kidding? This one's got penalties written all over it. Paraguay boot the ball out of play, then Japan give it back to them. There's a dearth of quality, for sure.

  111. 50 mins Commentary  

    That was half a chance that. Things open up for Nestor Ortigoza as he cuts into the area from the Paraguay left and after a neat one-two, he takes on one too many touches and the chance goes begging.

  112. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher  

    On Twitter: "What's that quality my wife says I'm missing? That's it, ambition. In that case I should get a game for Japan or Paraguay."

  113. 54 mins Commentary  

    A cross from the Japan right is half-cleared to just outside the area, where Yuto Nagatomo's left-foot shot takes a deflection and loops up into the arms of Justo Villar.

  114. 56 mins Commentary  

    Thick and fast now, these half-chances. Edgar Benitez spanks one in from the edge of the Japan box, but Yuji Nakazawa gets across quickly to make a vital block.

  115. 58 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Daisuke Matsui is booked by Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere for a handball. Seems a bit harsh, but never mind.

  116. 59 mins Commentary  

    Ooooh. Claudio Morel takes a quick throw down the Paraguay left, gets it back and swings in a cross that Christian Riveros heads a bit too close to Eiji Kawashima. It's opening up, just a little bit.

  117. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "Paraguay work hard and they're a strong side, physically. But they just lack quality in certain areas."

  118. 60 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    First change of the game and it's Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino who snaps first, sending Nelson Valdez on for Edgar Benitez.

  119. SMS  

    Matt, Kent: "One thing is for sure, neither of these teams is going to win the trophy."

  120. 63 mins Commentary  

    It looked a lot closer first time round - a Japan corner from the right is met by Marcus Tulio Tanaka, but his header hits a Paraguay defender and flies behind for what should be another corner, but is given as a goalkick.

  121. 66 mins Commentary  

    A change for the Japanese now as Daisuke Matsui comes off and Shinji Okazaki is on in his place.

  122. 68 mins Commentary  

    My word that has got to hurt. Eiji Kawashima comes for a Paraguay corner and accidentally catches Marcus Tulio Tanaka on the head with his knee. It looks as bad as it sounds, but this dude is seriously hard and after a bit of treatment he's straight back on. Hero.

  123. Twitter  

    From LewInMadrid: "I'm fed up with 'experts' whining about the World Cup. What on earth did they expect, a keepy-uppy circus? I'm loving it."

  124. 72 mins YELLOW CARD  

    This game hasn't changed my mind about Keisuke Honda - the boy is top-class, no doubt. He plays a cracking reverse pass into the path of Shinji Okazaki, but his cross is blocked. Moments later, Yuto Nagatomo pulls back Nelson Valdez and is booked, meaning he would miss a potential quarter-final tie.

  125. 74 mins Commentary  

    Opening an email from our friends at Infostrada Sports is better than Christmas morning, frankly. Here's the latest gem: From 1990 onwards, exactly one match in the second round has gone to a penalty shootout; IRE-ROU (1990), BUL-MEX (1994), ARG-ENG (1998), ESP-IRE (2002) and SUI-UKR (2006). Only one involved a South American team and they won.

  126. 75 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Another change for Paraguay as Edgar Barreto comes on for Nestor Ortigoza. My, Roque Santa Cruz has been quiet today, hasn't he?

  127. 79 mins Commentary  

    I don't think this DVD will be a bestseller, in all fairness. Looks like they're both settling for extra-time and penalties, so we might be here for the long haul.

  128. 81 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Kengo Nakamura comes on for Yuki Abe for Japan. He's probably brilliant at penalties.

  129. 606  

    From mem: "I think this tournament has demonstrated there are two or three levels of international football - the level of the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Holland, Spain etc and then the second tier with Japan, Uruguay, USA, Paraguay, England etc, then us poor folk in the likes of Scotland, at the moment just kinda making up the numbers."

  130. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "They've got to be positive now because the game's up for grabs. You can win this match now very, very easily."

  131. 85 mins Commentary  

    Yoshito Okubo runs the ball out of play down the Japan left and, if you listen closely enough, you can almost hear the World Cup trophy itself sigh.

  132. 87 mins Commentary  

    All the play is in the Paraguay half - if we're going to have a winner, it'll be a Japanese one. The South Americans have written down their spot-kick takers already.

  133. 90 mins INJURY TIME  

    We're into injury time in Pretoria and we'll have three minutes before we move into extra-time.

  134. 90 mins Commentary  

    Yasuhito Endo whips in a free-kick from the right and after it's flicked on, Marcus Tulio Tanaka just fails to get the decisive touch.

  135. 16:50 FULL-TIME Paraguay 0-0 Japan  

    It's not as bad as Ukraine v Switzerland four years ago, but it's been pretty woeful. Maybe we'll have an extra-time period like West Germany v Italy in 1970?!

  136. Twitter  

    From chrissmith_10: "Waddler, give us a rant, Waddler Waddler give us a rant."

  137. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria:  

    "Extra-time it is then. To be fair, it has been on the cards for about the last 90 minutes. Huge credit to both teams for their defence but that little spark of magic going forward has been largely absent."

  138. 16:57 EXTRA-TIME  

    We're back under way in Pretoria. Come on universe, don't do this to us now.

  139. 91 mins Commentary  

    Good intent from Japan as Kengo Nakamura flashes in a right-foot shot from outside the box and Antolin Alcaraz has to be alert to deflect it behind.

  140. SMS  

    From Kelvin: "Now is when we wish for a bad offside refereeing decision to gift a goal to someone to liven things up."

  141. 94 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Paraguay take the anonymous Roque Santa Cruz off and send on Oscar Cardozo.

  142. 95 mins Commentary  

    A cross comes in from the Paraguay left and Lucas Barrios can only head into the arms of Eiji Kawashima from eight yards. Might have done better there, the striker.

  143. 98 mins Commentary  

    That was close for Paraguay. Claudio Morel cuts in from the Paraguay left and slips a lovely pass in for Nelson Valdez, only for Eiji Kawashima to race off his line and make the save. From that rebound Lucas Barrios has a shot blocked, and seconds later Valdez heads over. Good action.

  144. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "Should he have scored? Yes. But the keeper did come out very quickly, to be fair to him."

  145. 99 mins Commentary  

    Keisuke Honda fizzes in a free-kick from an audacious angle and distance on the left and though it's creeping a yard wide of the far post, Justo Villar pushes it behind to make sure. It's bubbling, now.

  146. 101 mins Commentary  

    Paraguay are seriously dangerous right now. Another cross from their left causes all kinds of different footballing mayhem inside the Japanese box and when the ball lands, Edgar Barreto can only hook over the bar from six yards. We're getting closer. I'm not sure what to, but we're getting closer.

  147. 104 mins Commentary  

    Now it's Japan's turn to pump a free-kick into the Paraguay box and OH MY WORD JUSTO VILLAR'S DROPPED IT! Oh, he's caught it at the second attempt. As you were.

  148. 17:12 HALF-TIME Paraguay 0-0 Japan  

    Half-time in extra-time. Don't go anywhere though, we'll be starting up again in a jiffy.

  149. World Cup Have Your Say  

    From Gordon Tubbs, Virginia, on WCHYS: "The Blue Samurai are showing tremendous hustle against the Red and White Stripes. Great game so far. As good as South American teams are, I think everyone wants to see them lose every once in a while."

  150. 17:13 Commentary  

    Told you. Fifteen minutes to find a hero, or we've got a shootout.

  151. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria:  

    "I'm going to politely suggest that the Japanese journalist to my right is starting to feel the tension. His sounds of anguish make a pleasant change from the vuvuzela."

  152. 107 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Japan made a change at that break, I beg your pardon, as Keiji Tamada came on for Yoshito Okubo.

  153. 110 mins Commentary  

    Japan know they've got some serious free-kick takers in their side - twice players go down on the edge of the Paraguay area, and twice the referee refuses to give them anything. Chances of late drama = slim.

  154. 113 mins Commentary  

    Yasuhito Endo swings a deep free-kick over from the right and at the far post Marcus Tulio Tanaka can only head wide, instead of nodding it back across goal as he probably should have done.

  155. 114 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Yasuhito Endo fouls Enrique Vera and he is shown a yellow card that would rule him out of a potential quarter-final.

  156. SMS  

    From Angus: "I can't help but feel this game owes us a shootout."

  157. 116 mins Commentary  

    Japan go close again. Shinji Okazaki's clever backheel sends Keiji Tamada into the Paraguay area down the left, but his final pass is poor and the opportunity goes begging. It's remarkably frustrating.

  158. 118 mins Commentary  

    It's a shame, but I can't help but think whoever loses this shootout is going to have some major regrets when they fly home. Last 16 of the World Cup, and you barely even have a go. Such a shame.

  159. 120 mins FULL-TIME Paraguay 0-0 Japan  

    That's it. We're into penalty territory, shootout fans.

  160. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria:  

    "The end of extra-time and this game has yet to fill one page of my notebook. That is about to change."

  161. 606  

    From CoachMuke: "The Paraguay coach looks scared. Maybe they didn't practice penalty kicks."

  162. 17:35 PENALTIES  

    For the first time this World Cup, I'd like to introduce you to our penalty shootout graphic. Now then - Justo Villar or Eiji Kawashima, who's your money with?

  163. Commentary Paraguay 1-0 Japan  


  164. Commentary Paraguay 1-1 Japan  


  165. Commentary Paraguay 2-1 Japan  


  166. Commentary Paraguay 2-2 Japan  


  167. Commentary Paraguay 3-2 Japan  


  168. Commentary Paraguay 3-2 Japan  

    Advantage Paraguay, he's smashed it against the crossbar.

  169. Commentary Paraguay 4-2 Japan  


  170. Commentary Paraguay 4-3 Japan  


  171. Commentary Paraguay 5-3 Japan  

    Paraguay are in the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

  172. 17:43 Commentary  

    That is among the coolest ways you could win a shootout as Oscar Cardozo jogs oh so slowly up to the spot before sending Eiji Kawashima the wrong way. Paraguay have made history, but spare a thought for Japan. It's just a horrible way to lose and there are tears by the bucketload.

  173. 606  

    From darkanddom: "Wow, penalties are so cruel. Feel so bad for Japan. But that is why I love pens. Wow, Japan need to keep their heads up, their progress has been very impressive!!!! Wow, penalty shootouts - always dramatic!"


  174. 17:48 Commentary  

    Now then, I've never lost in a penalty shootout at the World Cup (surprised you there, didn't I?), but I would have thought if I had I'd have wanted to scarper off that pitch faster than Usain Bolt needing the facilities. For some reason, the Japanese players hang around, and it's heartbreaking to watch the grieving process begin.

  175. 17:50 Commentary  

    If you ever want to know how to take a penalty, my colleague Chris Whyatt once spoke to sports psychologist Andy Barton. Apparently, it's "a marriage of technique and mentality", so there you have it.

  176. Twitter  

    From footy_fever: "Hard luck to Japan. As for Paraguay, they need to seriously improve if they are to have a chance against Spain or Portugal."

  177. 17:59 Commentary  

    And then there was one. Spain v Portugal tonight is our final last 16 clash - the quarter-final line-up is almost complete. On Saturday at 1930 BST at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Paraguay will play their maiden last-eight tie at a World Cup - but who will it be against?

  178. 18:02 Commentary  

    Poor Bolivia. Of the 13 teams who participated in the first World Cup in 1930, now only they have failed to reach the quarter-finals. It has taken Paraguay 80 years.

  179. 606  

    From RoberTncUSA: "Did anybody else notice the amount of FAIR play in the match? Both sides didn't whine at the refs much, didn't dive or roll around at slight touches, didn't take penalties with stutter-steps, and goalkeepers stayed close to their lines on the penalties as well."

  180. 18:10 Commentary  

    Well, we got our little share of drama in the end, didn't we? Now, Spain v Portugal kicks off at 1930 BST, so Chris Whyatt is already all over the build-up to that. If you want to get in the mood and you live in the UK (ah, the UK, I remember), you could do worse than watch the BBC's opening sequence for tonight. It involves Muhammad Ali, and as I love him more than my own life I'm going to play it on a loop until I see you again. Very soon.

By Paul Fletcher, Pretoria

Paraguay won the first penalty shoot-out of the 2010 World Cup to reach the last eight for the first time and clinch a quarter-final place against either Spain or Portugal.

Coach Gerardo Martino's men scored all five of their penalties after a disappointing match had finished goalless at the end of extra-time.

But Paraguay's joy was Japan's agony as Yuichi Komano's spot-kick brushed the crossbar and flew over as the Blue Samurai's tournament came to an agonising end.

As with their opponents, Japan were bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time and came closest to scoring during a game of few chances when Daisuke Matsui smashed a long-range strike against the crossbar in the first half.

Japan coach Takeshi Okada had targeted a semi-final place before the tournament. But, in a game during which neither side really gambled on scoring a winner, it is Okada's team that ultimately paid for their lack of ambition.

Their defeat ended Asia's participation in the tournament, but Tuesday's result in Pretoria ensured that there will be four South American sides in the last eight.

Martin's Paraguay have conceded only once in their four games in South Africa and were defensively solid against a Japan team that had previously looked dangerous on the counter attack.

Okada's men aimed two long-distance strikes towards the Paraguay goal in the opening minutes but the tie soon deteriorated into a scrappy, edgy contest.

The Blue Samurai, unchanged for their fourth straight World Cup match, sat deep and attempted to snuff out the opposition, while their opponents conceded a series of niggling fouls every time Japan looked to strike on the counter.

There was one scintillating minute in an otherwise forgettable opening half.

It started when a deft turn from Lucas Barrios briefly left two Japan defenders foundering but his strike with the outside of his right boot was saved.

Seconds later Matsui, whose impressive tournament had a disappointing end when he was withdrawn shortly after the restart, crashed his long-range effort against Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar's crossbar.

Matsui later turned provider for Honda, who opted to strike first time but missed from 20 yards when he clearly had the space to take an initial touch.

Roque Santa Cruz, deployed on the right by Martino, ought to have tested Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima after a corner dropped invitingly but the striker missed from close to the penalty spot as a largely soporific half ended goalless.

There was not much of an upsurge in entertainment after the restart.

Yuji Nakazawa blocked an Edgar Benitez strike and Sunderland-bound Christian Riveros headed wide after a superb near-post run.

A Yuto Nagatomo strike took a deflection off Carlos Bonet, while one effort from the unfortunate right-back Komano spoke volumes about the lack of attacking quality at vital moments.

Komano found an advanced position but his shot from a wide angle was so far wide that the subsequent throw-in took place almost 18 yards from the byeline.

Neither team had been able to mount a sustained spell of pressure but Paraguay did enjoy a brief period in the ascendancy shortly after the start of extra-time.

Kawashima saved a disappointing header from Barrios, who was unmarked, and smothered a shot from substitute Nelson Valdez after his sharp turn finally picked a hole in the Japan defence.

Villar saved a low strike from Honda that appeared to be going wide and there was one moment when there appeared to be space inside the Paraguay box but any prospects of Japan capitalising were undermined by an awful cross from substitute Keiji Tamada.

There was a certain inevitability about the penalty shoot-out that eventually took place. Neither keeper came particularly close to making a save but Komano's miss proved decisive.

Paraguay Paraguay Flag 0-0 Japan Flag Japan FT

(HT 0-0)

Paraguay win 5-3 on penalties







  • Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium
  • Referee: F De Bleeckere
  • Attendance: 36,742
Paraguay     Japan
  • Possession 56%
  • Attempts on target 6
  • Attempts off target 5
  • Corners 6
  • Fouls 22

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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