BBC Sport world-cup-2010


Paraguay 0-1 Spain

By Pranav Soneji & Jonathan Stevenson
  1. 17:31 Commentary  

    Can someone remind me how to breathe again? Send all advice c/o*. This tournament has more drama than a Shakespearean thespian convention. Hands up who predicted a 4-0 thumping in Cape Town? Anyone? ANYONE? Joachim Loew's Germany swept aside Argentina with one of the most clinical performances you will ever see at the highest level. Up next for "Der Mannschaft" on 7 July in Durban is Spain or Paraguay, or round three of Europe v South America.

    (*Not actually a real email address)

  2. 17:37 Commentary  

    Bienviendos, me llamo Pranav Soneji y soy bastante contento. Can Paraguay buck the trend and halt the European charge, or will the South Americans fall in a similar fashion to neighbours Argentina and Brazil? After a faltering start, stumbling to a 1-0 defeat by opening opponents Switzerland, the European champions are building up a head of steam led by David "El Guaje" (The Kid) Villa. The Barcelona player has smashed in four goals in four matches, cutting in from the left flank with real menace and intent.  More of the same at the Moses Mabhida Stadium this evening? 

  3. 17:39 Commentary  

    Instead of ranting at the TV or shouting at random passers-by about Fernando Torres's indifferent form, whether Spain manager Vicente del Bosque looks a little bit like Rene from 'Allo 'Allo or Paraguay's frugal defence, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), on Twitter via the BBC World Cup group or you can always get involved on 606. Hagalo.

  4. Twitter  

    From @aogfc: "Kaka, Ronaldo, Rooney, and Messi.. all outscored by Matthew Upson."

  5. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher  

    From Ellis Park, Johannesburg: "All-round shock here at the manner in which Germany brushed aside Argentina. I have to say, I haven't met anybody who expects Spain to crash out against Paraguay."

  6. 606  

    From BlueAcrosstheWorld: "Paraguay to nick it 2-1. After watching yesterday's results and Germany's humbling of Argentina, anything is possible!"

  7. 17:53 Commentary  

    Standing in Spain's way are Paraguay, a team with the meanest defence in the competition. Gerardo Martino's side have conceded only one goal in four matches, expertly organised by Sunderland's Paulo da Silva. In 1811, the landlocked nation of 6.2m people earned its independence from Spain's rule. Some 199 years on, Paraguay have the opportunity to overshadow domineering neighbours Argentina and Brazil and book their place in the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

  8. Contributor BBC World Service's Vladimir Hernandez  

    From Twitter: "Where did it go wrong Maradona? He went for passion instead of preparing the technical side and they were overplayed."

  9. 18:02 Commentary  

    Spain manager Vicente del Bosque: "We have huge respect for what Paraguay has done and we certainly don't have the guarantee that it's going to be an easy match. You cannot be too optimistic to win, I mean there's so many teams on the same level, we certainly cannot already announce the result. So both teams will be in the same position, which is wanting to win and be in the semi-final."

  10. 18:05 Commentary  

    Paraguay boss Gerardo Martino: "Spain has so much ball possession that it forces you to defend. Teams have prepared a certain way of playing, but Spain still scored. They have ball possession 65-70% of the game and it imposes its style of play on you. We have to keep Spain from passing the ball. We have to move, show mobility up front, so that we can score goals."

  11. 18:10 Commentary  

    One of the pre-tournament favourites for the Golden Boot, Fernando Torres, has been given the thumbs up from Del Bosque - despite barely having a sniff on goal in this tournament so far. "We've got full confidence in him," said the Spain boss on Thursday.  No blond streaks, no goals?       

  12. 606  

    From Irons Man: "I fear for Spain IF they get to the semis as Ozil will probably have a field day against the inexperienced Busquets."

  13. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher  

    From Twitter: "Ellis Park at night in July = cold. So why is the nutter to my left eating an ice lolly? Mate, you've got nothing to prove to me."

  14. 18:24 Commentary  

    While Paul Fletcher winces in horror at the ice lolly-licking man next to him in Johannesburg, his blog on Uruguay's incredible penalty shootout win against Ghana on Friday night has generated over 900 responses so far.  It's a simple question - Luis Suarez - hero or villain?  "Referee decision was correct. No rule will be changed regarding to this," says littlejklc.  Plenty of people disagree though.   

  15. SMS  

    From ajl Craileheim: "In sunny Germany. Cars, mopeds and bikes blocking the streets. Horns and vuvuzelas ringing out. What will they do if they win the cup?"

  16. 18:28 Commentary  

    So that's it from me, it's time to head over to Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg for the fourth and final quarter-final match. Adios amigos, here's hoping for another classic.

  17. 18:32 Commentary  

    Thanks Pranav Soneji - if you really are who you say you are. I’m Jonathan Stevenson, and my entire footballing belief system is being turned on its head during the most incredible month of World Cup action imaginable. Welcome back to Johannesburg, but be gentle with me while I try and figure out just what the blazes is going on.

  18. 18:34 Commentary Paraguay v Spain line-ups:  

    Paraguay: 1-Justo Villar; 2-Dario Veron, 14-Paulo Da Silva, 21-Antolin Alcaraz, 3-Claudio Morel, 8-Edgar Barreto, 11-Jonathan Santana, 15-Victor Caceres, 16-Cristian Riveros, 18-Nelson Valdez, 7-Oscar Cardozo.
    Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 14-Xabi Alonso, 8-Xavi, 6-Andres Iniesta, 16-Sergio Busquets; 9-Fernando Torres, 7-David Villa.
    Referee: Carlos Batres (Guatemala).

  19. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    "Spain are unchanged for the third straight game so Fernando Torres continues alongside David Villa - but I make it an astonishing six changes for Paraguay. They include forward trio Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Barrios and Edgar Benitez all dropping to the bench. They had not scored a goal between them here in South Africa."

  20. 18:38 Commentary  

    Spain, joint-favourites for this tournament before it began with the recently departed Brazil, have never taken part in a World Cup semi-final head-to-head encounter. Beat Paraguay, and in a tournament that produces a little bit more history every day, they can create some of their own. For the Paraguayans, that job’s already done.

  21. 18:42 Commentary  

    Por favor, hit me with El Banto: get the texts rolling in to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); bung me a Tweet @Stevo_football; and do the business on the 606 page. Spanish, English or whatever - if it’s in the language of football, it’s all good to me.

  22. Twitter  

    From footy_fever: "I don't understand this! If Torres is not in form, why does Del Bosque keep starting with him? He has very good substitutes on the bench."

  23. 18:47 Commentary  

    This evening at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, we will discover our last World Cup semi-finalist. It’ll either be the Euro 2008 winners Spain and their multi-talented squad of footballing superstars, or Paraguay, about to play their first quarter-final at this tournament. Not that easy to predict though is it, this World Cup? Even Nostradamus would have struggled.

  24. SMS  

    From Mark in Derbys (Forest fan): "From their squad Spain could put two teams out to beat Paraguay. Therefore, in keeping with this wacky World Cup bonanaza, I'm predicting 3-2 to the South Americans. Can you take another game like that Stevo??"

    Bring. It. On.

    PS Get thee home, lad.

  25. 18:54 Commentary  

    These boys have a little bit of previous, you might like to know. In 1998, they drew 0-0 in a group stage game in St Etienne, while four years later Spain triumphed 3-1 thanks to a Fernando Morientes brace and a late Fernando Hierro penalty.

  26. 18:56 Commentary Argentina coach Diego Maradona:  

    "I may leave tomorrow, but I'd like that these boys continue showing who they are and keep playing real Argentina football. I'm as disappointed as all Argentines. To see my country lose a football match is very hard for someone who has worn the shirt."

  27. 19:00 Commentary Stevo's predo:  

    In the face of a wholly unpredictable set of results so far, here goes:
    Spain 2-0 Paraguay

  28. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher  

    "Doesn't seem that chilly to me this evening. Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said he expected a more open game against Spain than the goalless encounter with Japan -but his formation, roughly 4-1-3-2, looks more defensive than his previous line-ups."

  29. 19:04 Commentary Diego Maradona on Lionel Messi:  

    "It was either because the ball was not in the right spot or because the goalies were good. But he played a great World Cup. To see Messi cry in the dressing room, well, to say that if in some way he didn't honour Argentine colours then that is stupid."

  30. Twitter  

    From rafamoroni: "Spain have no width and Villa is only one with goals in him. If Paraguay can stop him we may just see an upset here."

  31. 19:08 YELLOW CARD One booking from a ban alert:  

    Paraguay: Enrique Vera, Cristian Riveros, Roque Santa Cruz.
    Spain: Xabi Alonso.

  32. 19:11 Commentary  

    If Spain are going to win the World Cup, a certain striking sensation will be key to their hopes. With Fernando Torres unfit and not firing, the sizzling David Villa will be looking to add to his four goals so far. One more goal and Villa will join Emilo ‘the Vulture’ Butragueno as the leading scorer in a single World Cup for a Spaniard and he’s now only two short of Raul’s national record 44 goals. He also has form against Paraguay keeper Justo Villar, having scored in both Valencia’s games against Villar’s club, Real Valladolid, last season, before he moved to Barcelona for £34.2m in May.

  33. SMS  

    Moray (inside Ellis Park): "Looking for Spain to hand out a spanking. Need to see a nice one-sided thrashing to recover from the trauma of last night."

  34. Contributor BBC Sport's Lee Dixon  

    "They have gone really defensive, Paraguay, in a bid to stop Spain from playing. It's very important they don't give the ball away, because they might not get it back for 20 minutes. Oscar Cardozo has scored a lot of goals this season and he is their main hope tonight."

  35. 19:18 Commentary  

    If you don't want to know what sort of game it's going to be, look away now. Here's Paraguay keeper Justo Villar: "It's going to be a good match where you will see two types of football - one side trying to attack skillfully, while we try to stop them and then try to take advantage of our chances."

  36. 19:21 Commentary Spain coach Vicente del Bosque:  

    "We know we're in good shape. We’ve had more than 30 days together training as a team and I think these players want to make history. Paraguay, like all of the South American teams, show so much character, with players who exercise great pressure. They have a similar style to Chile, who we already know about.”

  37. 19:23 Commentary  

    Paraguay captain Justo Villar and Spain skipper Iker Casillas read out Fifa's anti-discrimination message and then we'll listen to the anthems in Johannesburg.

  38. 19:25 Commentary Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino:  

    "If I had to consider a tournament of 20 matches against Spain, then I think Paraguay would have fewer possibilities than Spain. But you see in this kind of tournament, it's not just who plays better, but who has the heart, who has the stamina, the wish, who has the fighting spirit and it can come down to one scoring opportunity."

  39. 19:27 Commentary  

    I love that the Spain fans always hum loudly along to their anthem from the stands while the players look so serious. Sorry, more inane anthem chat, I just can't help myself. Moments away from kick-off.

  40. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    On Twitter: "Alright then - does anyone out there see a shock at Ellis Park this evening? These Paraguayans, they aren't too shabby you know."

  41. 19:30 KICK-OFF Paraguay v Spain  

    We are under way at Ellis Park in the last of the four 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.

  42. 1 min Commentary  

    You know, in this World Cup that wouldn't have surprised anyone, would it? Paraguay have the first attack and a lovely lay off tees up a chance for Jonathan Santana on the edge of the Spain box - but his low right-foot drive is saved low down by Iker Casillas.

  43. 3 mins Commentary  

    Lively start from the Paraguayans, getting stuck into the tackle and not giving the Spanish players any real time on the ball.

  44. 5 mins Commentary  

    Spain are lining up slightly differently from what I can see so far, with David Villa in a more central role, Fernando Torres on the right and Andres Iniesta down the left.

  45. 606  

    From fergieshairdryer: "Paraguay are playing in the World Cup without one of their stars from qualifying, who was shot in the head in Mexico. So congrats to Paraguay for getting this far and good luck in this game!"

  46. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat  

    "Alonso is the deepest of the clever Spanish midfielders and Iniesta is holding his position on the left. For now."

  47. 9 mins Commentary  

    It's perhaps not all the one-way traffic many people were expecting - Paraguay have made a decent start and a cross from the right leads to a glancing header wide from Cristian Riveros.

  48. 11 mins Commentary  

    Footballers. Claudio Morel smashes a free-kick from all of 40 yards and that's akin to time-wasting as it flies a good few South African miles over the bar. Why not just mixer it?

  49. SMS  

    Doug, Lancs: "Here's one to make you whirl some more, Stevo: if Spain or Germany win the World Cup then the only unbeaten side in the tournament will be New Zealand!"

  50. 15 mins Commentary  

    Claret alert: Jonathan Santana must have got a whack on his nose because the Paraguayan midfielder has blood pouring from it. He needs a quick mop-up job and a new shirt into the bargain.

  51. 17 mins Commentary  

    It hasn't really got going yet at Ellis Park, a stadium which has, so far this World Cup, shown an unfortunate fondness for Mexican Waves. Let's hope it picks up before that nonsense begins in earnest.

  52. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    "I think Paraguay have made a pretty solid start but Spain are slowly starting to get a grip on midfield. Andres Iniesta has already switched from the left to the right, with David Villa pulling out to the left to provide the width that Spain sometimes lack."

  53. 19 mins Commentary  

    Magically quick feet from Andres Iniesta about 30 yards from the Paraguay goal, but after he is brought down Spain take the free-kick too quickly and they waste the chance to test Justo Villar. Chance-less, so far.

  54. 21 mins Commentary  

    A long Paraguayan free-kick into the Spain box catches Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets sleeping and Antolin Alcaraz - who Italy know all about - is only inches away from being able to head on goal. Spain are awfully subdued.

  55. 606  

    From The Kid from Fuenlabrada: "Spain look lifeless. They need to play the occasional quick strike pass, too slow in the build-up for me. This is why Torres doesn't play well for Spain."

  56. 25 mins Commentary  

    Oh. According to my colleague Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, the Mexican Waves has come out already. Unlike the crowd, Spain aren't in any sort of rhythm at this stage of proceedings.

  57. 27 mins Commentary  

    Better from Spain. Andres Iniesta turns neatly in the centre-circle again and finds Xavi and when he sends David Villa away down the left, his drilled cross is booted away by a defender. Soon after, Fernando Torres races past one defender down their right, but he overdoes it and is tackled by the next one.

  58. 29 mins Commentary  

    Much better. Xavi collects a pass thigh-high about 30 yards out and after spinning 180 degrees, he hits a sizzling right-foot volley that just doesn't come down quite quickly enough, whizzing inches over Justo Villa's crossbar.

  59. Twitter  

    From WhiskyCarlsson: "Today Messi needed Xavi-Iniesta, and now Xavi-Iniesta are searching for Messi."

  60. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Pearce  

    "It's been a very, very nervy opening half an hour."

  61. 34 mins Commentary  

    David Villa moves into space just inside the Paraguay half and when he sends it out to the right, Andres Iniesta side-foots a first-time right-foot cross into the box, where you want your striker to be attacking - but Fernando Torres had eased off and the ball flies across the area and out.

  62. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    "Oh dear. Paraguay showed some ambition in the opening five minutes or so but they are now taking every single opportunity to slow down the game. An extra few seconds over a throw-in, a slight delay on a free-kick. Makes one wonder whether the game needs a goal from Spain."

  63. 38 mins Commentary  

    Spain are not being given any time at all to do their thing and they are going to get increasingly frustrated. Andres Iniesta looks lively, but their build-up is too slow at the moment.

  64. SMS  

    From Leo: "Germany and Holland will love this pace and must already be thinking this Cup is ours."

  65. 40 mins Commentary  

    Fernando Torres gets past Antolin Alcaraz down the Spain right, but his cross balloons out of play behind for a goalkick. He's not having a great night again, the Liverpool man.

  66. 41 mins OFFSIDE  

    They nearly went and did it, Paraguay. A long diagonal ball from the right into the Spain box is converted by Nelson Valdez, but he is flagged offside. Not sure he was. The South Americans are very, very dangerous when they go forward.

  67. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat  

    "Spain are very capable of embarrassing Paraguay with intricate skills. But they've got to think about just how they're going to get through that strong back four. Del Bosque won't be happy that they've had so much possession, but not looked like scoring."

  68. 45 mins INJURY TIME  

    Spain haven't had a single shot on goal so far as we head into one minute of time added on in the first half.

  69. 45 mins Commentary  

    Nelson Valdez gets one-on-one with Carles Puyol and runs the Barca skipper, but his right-foot shot from 30 yards flies way off target.

  70. 20:16 HALF-TIME Paraguay 0-0 Spain  

    It might happen again, you know.

  71. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "They were getting in their faces and not giving them any time to play whatsoever. But Spain have been really poor, everything we were talking about before has eluded them tonight. And Fernando Torres will probably be coming off early in the second half."

  72. Contributor BBC Sport's Lee Dixon  

    "Spain are probably surprised by how Paraguay have set about them, because they haven't given the Spain defence any time to bring the ball out, they've pressed them everywhere. But can they keep it up?"

  73. 606  

    From simply_complicated: "If Spain do crash out, then this World Cup would become the most "upsetting" one in history."

  74. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat  

    "There's no doubt that Paraguay will feel a bit hurt by that offside decision. But they have restricted Spain very well. They've played very narrow and allowed Spain the touchlines. And they haven’t produced from wide. Paraguay will be the much happier of the two teams."

  75. 20:25 Commentary Argentina coach Diego Maradona:  

    "Today, close to the 50 years I will be on October 30, this is the hardest thing I've experienced. This was (like) a punch from Muhammad Ali. I have no strength for anything."

  76. 20:27 Commentary  

    Breaking news: Uruguay's Luis Suarez has NOT been given an extra one-match ban by Fifa for his red card against Ghana on Friday. So if they beat the Netherlands and reach the final, Suarez will be eligible. Happy? Not happy? Then get involved in Paul Fletcher's blog - it's been ablaze with chat all day long.

  77. 20:29 Commentary  

    Ghana's players might not be happy with that news, but they did get to meet arguably the greatest living human being today in the shape of South African legend Nelson Mandela. They deserved it, too. Heroes, the lot of them.

  78. Twitter  

    From evolution219: "Spain having the same problem again. No alternative plan except to keep passing aimlessly and somehow get the odd goal."

  79. 20:32 Commentary Paraguay 0-0 Spain  

    Back under way at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Now then, where's the drama from the three previous quarter-finals coming from?

  80. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    "Out come Spain. The vuvuzelas fire into life and the restart is upon us. I wouldn't exactly say that half time was a chance for everyone to catch their breath, more perhaps time to hope that this tie will somehow come to life. Spain are misfiring and I imagine Paraguay are pretty happy so far."

  81. 47 mins Commentary  

    Spain's build-up is still laboured, yet when Paraguay search for an opening they are looking for a quick ball to Nelson Valdez, who is trying to get in behind Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique. He's a danger.

  82. 50 mins Commentary  

    The work-rate of these Paraguayans has to be seen to be believed, it's terrific. Fernando Torres and David Villa both go down just outside the box, but there's nothing doing either time.

  83. SMS  

    From Johnny in Sheffield: "In comparison to Torres and Villa, Valdez is looking sharp. I fancy an upset here!"

  84. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    "Just been handed some stats and it might be the worst news since my A-level results came in. One shot on target in the first half, which if memory serves came from Paraguay's Jonathan Santana in the opening minute. As with those exam results many years ago, I cannot say I'm too shocked."

  85. 54 mins Commentary  

    Spain seem flat, which is hard to believe in a World Cup quarter-final. Especially when you're one of the favourites. And lots of the other favourites are already out. And your country has never won a WC quarter-final before. Hmm.

  86. 55 mins Commentary  

    Hallelujah! Cesc Fabregas is about to come on for Spain. They desperately need the Arsenal captain to inject some life into their display.

  87. 56 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    You've got to feel sorry for Fernando Torres, but he isn't fit and he shouldn't be playing. He's hauled off again and Cesc Fabregas comes on in his place.

  88. 57 mins PENALTY To Paraguay - MISSED  

    Paraguay have their first corner and from it, Gerard Pique blatantly brings down Oscar Cardozo - he is booked and it's a penalty. Cardozo takes it himself, firing it to Iker Casillas' left, but he dives across and makes the save.

  89. 59 mins PENALTY To Spain - MISSED  

    This is just ridiculous. David Villa gets into the Paraguay box and goes down under a challenge from Antolin Alcaraz. It's a bit soft, but the ref points to the spot again. Xabi Alonso steps up and fires the penalty in, BUT THE REF'S DISALLOWED IT FOR ENCROACHING and he's got to take it again. And JUSTO VILLAR'S DIVED TO HIS LEFT AND MADE THE SAVE! It's too much. Incredible.

  90. 63 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    From the rebound of Xabi Alonso's re-taken penalty, Cesc Fabregas was fouled by Justo Villar and it should have been another penalty. Moments later, Andres Iniesta has a shot parried away by Villar. Paraguay make a change, with Enrique Vera coming on for Edgar Baretto. Phew.

  91. 66 mins Commentary  

    Haha. When Oscar Cardozo missed his penalty, there must have been at least three Spanish players inside the area. For a game that was pretty lifeless for so long, that was an extraordinary spell.

  92. 606  

    From Magazine_Gap: "That should have been a second penalty and a red for the keeper, on top of the red for perpetrator of the initial foul that led to the initial penalty."

  93. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Ellis Park, Johannesburg:  

    "I reckon we should all says thanks to referee Carlos Batres, who has done his level best to liven up this match."

  94. 70 mins Commentary  

    Much nicer stuff from Spain as they work it from right to left, but then when Joan Capdevila picks out Andres Iniesta on the edge of the Paraguay box, he leans back and lofts one into the Johannesburg night sky. My boss just reminded me it's 0-0, which I'm a little bit grateful for (the reminder, not the scoreline).

  95. 72 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Claudio Morel is booked for stopping Spain from taking a free-kick quickly. Xavi curls it towards the far post from 40-odd yards, and it drifts wide. Paraguay take Nelson Valdez off and shove on Roque Santa Cruz.

  96. 73 mins Commentary  

    David Villa bundles his way into the Paraguay box and goes to ground, but this time Carlos Batres isn't having any of it. Andres Iniesta weaves his magic down the left and gets to the byeline, but his cross is blocked.

  97. 75 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Jonathan Santana's attempted clearance from inside his own area is deflected into the path of Xavi on the edge of the box and he lashes a right-foot shot just wide of the far post. It's a good chance, that. Spain send Pedro on for the disappointing Xabi Alonso.

  98. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat  

    "Paraguay's defenders are looking a little tired now. But how manfully they are working."

  99. Twitter  

    From SunriseDahab: "I can't really believe what I'm reading. Are you sure you're not just making this up, @Stevo_football?"

    I couldn't. Even if I wanted to.

  100. 79 mins Commentary  

    Spain continue to probe, but we're edging closer to extra-time in Johannesburg. Germany, who will play the winners, must be licking their lips.

  101. 82 mins GOAL Paraguay 0-1 Spain  

    Good grief, that won't help anyone's heart palpitations. Spain fashion a chance as their best player on the night Andres Iniesta drifts past two players and tees up Pedro and after his shot crashes back off the post, it comes back to David Villa and - via both posts - his right-foot curler eventually finds the net.

  102. 84 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Spain take Carles Puyol off and send on Carlos Marchena, while Paraguay send on Lucas Barrios for Victor Caceres.

  103. 85 mins Commentary  

    Andres Iniesta is blocked off as he surges into the Paraguay box again and when the ball comes out to David Villa outside the box on the left, his right-foot curler sails a couple of yards over. Can Paraguay, who have worked so hard, create something in the closing stages?

  104. SMS  

    Dev, Delhi: "With this level of play it doesn't matter which team wins, they would be put to the sword by Germans. Another 4-0 for them I reckon."

  105. 88 mins Commentary  

    Sergio Busquets gets caught in the face and that boy knows how to go down and stay down. Valuable seconds eaten up, Spain are on the brink of the semis.

  106. 89 mins Commentary  

    That might have been Paraguay's chance. They break down their right and Lucas Barrios has a shot spilled by Iker Casillas, before the keeper makes a brilliant block from Roque Santa Cruz's rebound effort.

  107. 90 mins INJURY TIME  

    David Villa is foiled by a good low save from Justo Villar and we are into three minutes of time added on at Ellis Park. Surely not?

  108. 90 mins Commentary  

    Jonathan Santana tries to volley goalwards from 10 yards, but Sergio Ramos bravely sticks his head in the way and gets a boot flush on his face. He stays down, so we're not done yet.

  109. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Bright  

    "Spain will need to improve when they play Germany, but they don't need me to tell them that."

  110. 90 mins Commentary  

    Spain are keeping the ball and killing the game. They're closing in on a semi-final berth.

  111. 21:21 FULL-TIME Paraguay 0-1 Spain  

    David Villa grabs the badge on his shirt, smiles a beaming smile and punches the air. The striker's goal has earned Spain their first place in a World Cup semi-final.

  112. 21:23 Commentary  

    Oscar Cardozo, who missed a penalty for Paraguay, pulls his shirt over his head to try and hide the tears. He's distraught - that's what this World Cup does to people.

  113. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Shearer  

    "You have to have a little bit of sympathy for Paraguay because with their effort and commitment they deserved something better than that. They had the penalty, they had their chances."

  114. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat  

    "It was eventful - fantastic - at times you couldn't keep up with action. It was very telling at the end that all the substitutes raced off to embrace their captain Casillas. He made a magnificent double save at the end. Good changes by Del Bosque. It was a tremendous game."

  115. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "How did Gerard Pique ever think he was going to get away with that foul to give away the penalty?! It's unbelievable."

  116. 606  

    From strcprstskrzkrk: "On this evidence you've got to think Germany will beat Spain comfortably, but I'm holding off my prediction until I've seen what the octopus has to say on it."

  117. 21:32 Commentary Spain's Cesc Fabregas:  

    "It feels good, but we've done nothing yet. We're happy because it was a difficult game, but we want to improve and reach the final. We watched Germany and they played very well so we know it'll be very difficult, but we must play at our best."

  118. 21:35 Commentary  

    Right, here's a late doors talking point: have we just had the greatest set of World Cup quarter-finals since 1970? Discuss.

  119. Twitter  

    From Gallacticos87: "If there is ever a player who justifies a massively inflated £40m transfer fee, it's surely David Villa."

  120. 21:41 Commentary World Cup semi-finals:  

    Tuesday  6 July, Cape Town:
    Netherlands v Uruguay 1930 BST

    Wednesday 7 July
    Germany v Spain 1930 BST
    (Live on BBC One and this website)

  121. 21:45 Commentary  

    Spain striker David Villa now leads the race for the Golden Shoe on five goals, ahead of Gonzalo Higuain, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Mueller and Robert Vittek. He's also moved one behind Raul's Spain record of 44 goals.

  122. 606  

    From Jinadine: "Spain v Netherlands final. If that happens, it means there WILL be a NEW World Cup winning team. Germany v Netherlands would be fun. They don't get on. Such a shame that this World Cup is coming to an end."

  123. Twitter  

    From wonderboi711: "Spain will be glad to see the back of all the tight, defensive teams. Germany won't defend like Portugal and Paraguay!"

  124. SMS  

    From Anon: "Spain's goal: Fabregas was the only non-Barca player involved in it (Xavi, Ineista, Pedro, Villa). No wonder he feels left out at Arsenal."

  125. 22:00 Commentary  

    This World Cup's so brilliant even the 1-0s leave you an emotional wreck. I'm done, so you have a lovely rest of the weekend, try and squeeze some work in on Monday and I expect I'll see you on Tuesday for the Netherlands v Uruguay. I'm just gonna sit here and count down the hours. Seriously. Night all.

By Paul Fletcher in Johannesburg

David Villa snatched a late winner to book Spain's first appearance in a World Cup semi-final as they beat Paraguay in a largely disappointing quarter-final tie that nonetheless boasted moments of incredible drama.

Villa's goal after 82 minutes - his fifth of the tournament- struck one post, rolled across the goal-line and hit the other, before finally nestling in the net and came seconds after substitute Pedro had also hit the woodwork.

It was heartbreaking for a Paraguay side that had never reached the quarter-final stage before, and who earlier wasted a superb chance to take the lead when Oscar Cardozo's spot-kick was saved by Iker Casillas.

That came after 57 minutes - and before the tie reached the hour mark Spain had also been awarded a penalty by referee Carlos Batres.

In a truly remarkable passage of play, Xabi Alonso scored his first effort but the retake, which came because Spanish players encroached into the area, was saved.

Goalkeeper Justo Villar then appeared to foul Cesc Fabregas as he scrambled to collect the rebound but a third penalty award was not forthcoming, while Sergio Ramos pounced on the loose ball but his shot was blocked on the line.

In truth, it was a brief flurry of excitement that was largely out of kilter during a game that saw relatively few other opportunities.

Spain may have reached a World Cup semi-final for the first time - their fourth place in 1950 was after a round-robin stage - but they will surely need to improve if they are to defeat in-form Germany in Durban on Wednesday.

Their famed passing game was largely absent, while the out-of-form Fernando Torres was withdrawn after 56 minutes.

Paraguay started at a decent pace, certainly settling much quicker than Spain, and created some promising openings.

Jonathan Santana forced a saved with a low strike inside 60 seconds, while Spain consistently struggled to deal with crosses from wide areas.

Sunderland-bound Cristian Riveros headed wide, while Antolin Alcaraz and Santana both peeled away from their markers with far too much ease but could not quite make the decisive contact.

Nelson Valdez, one of six changes from the side that defeated Japan in Pretoria, slotted home from close range shortly before the break but the effort was ruled out by a marginal offside decision.

The Borussia Dortmund forward certainly appeared to be onside but there was a doubt over Cardozo, who attempted but failed to head the cross that eventually fell to Valdez.

At one point Spain looked as though they were starting to gain a measure of control in midfield but Paraguay, who would have topped South America's World Cup qualifying group if they had won their final game, slowed the match down at every opportunity.

Gerardo Martino's team also worked extremely hard to thwart Spain's passing game and looked extremely dangerous on the counter, with the lively Valdez wasting a decent position with an atrocious shot just before the interval after a sharp break.

Xavi went close for Spain with one piece of brilliance, deftly flicking the ball up with one touch before shooting on the turn in a manner reminiscent of a goal Thierry Henry once scored for Arsenal.

However, the midfielder's shot flew narrowly over and it was a slightly disjointed and frustrated Spain that left the field to regroup at the break.

The tie exploded into life with the back-to-back penalties and all the shenanigans that surrounded them.

There was little doubt that Gerard Pique fouled Cardozo for the first when he clung onto the Benfica forward, but the Paraguayan's subsequent penalty was struck at a good height for Casillas.

From the very next attack Alcaraz was adjudged to have brought down Villa, with Alonso comfortably slotting home first time around.

Replays did suggest referee Batres was correct to order a retake - and the prayers of Valdez, who was on his knees just outside the penalty box, were answered when Alonso saw his effort saved and Spain failed to score.

But there was nothing Valdez could do to prevent the prolific Villa from equalling Emilio Butragueno's Spanish record of five goals at a World Cup finals, which was set in 1986.

Villar saved from Iniesta shortly after Spain's goal, but Paraguay did have a chance to equalise late on only for Casillas to block substitute Roque Santa Cruz's effort.

The Paraguay keeper denied Villa as Spain threatened on the break in the final seconds but a second goal would have been harsh on the South American side, who conceded just twice in their five games in South Africa.

Paraguay Paraguay Flag 0-1 Spain Flag Spain FT

(HT 0-0)

 Villa, 82






  • Venue: Ellis Park
  • Referee: C Batres
  • Attendance: 55,359
Paraguay     Spain
  • Possession 38%
  • Attempts on target 4
  • Attempts off target 3
  • Corners 1
  • Fouls 20

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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