A pretty poor day of football on the final day of last-16 matches saw Paraguay v Japan goalless after 90 minutes of play, plus another 30 minutes of extra-time in a very dull match, but the match was quickly decided on penalties to see Paraguay through to the Quarter-Final.
Spain on the other hand, knocked out Portugal in a game we all expected to be a bit more exciting than it actually was!
First up was Paraguay v Japan which has to be another contender for worst game of the tournament, with a boring full 90 minutes, and then still no goals from extra-time, despite the influence of Roque Santa Cruz and Cristian Riveros for Paraguay!
It then went to penalties where both sides scored their first two penalties, and Riveros scored Paraguay’s third, but the same cannot be said for Japan, as Yuichi Komano spaffed his penalty against the crossbar and over to leave Japan trailing with the miss in his Puma King XL football boots.
Paraguay scored their fourth, and Honda kept Japan in it to continue his great form in a pair of Mizuno Ignitus football boots, but Paraguay just had to score their final penalty and did so as Cardozo kept his composure in his Nike T90 Laser III Elite football boots!
The next game was a massive fixture for both countries, as they both Portugal and Spain were expected to go far in the competition, but once again, David Villa was the difference between the two sides!
A surprisingly uneventful first half was sprung a bit more into life, despite another invisible performance from Fernando Torres, and David Villa’s second-half goal sealed it for Spain with the only goal of the game as Cristiano Ronaldo, and the rest of the Portuguese side never looked like scoring!
Despite playing wide on the left, David Villa caused problems for Portugal all game and was rewarded with his fourth goal of the competition after firing his first shot against the keeper, and chipping the rebound off the underside of the crossbar and in the back of the net. Villa joins Vittek and Higuain as top scorer after the strike in his adidas F50 Adizero football boots.
Ricardo Costa was sent-off for elbowing Capdevila in the 88th minute as the referee showed Costa a straight red-card in the last talking point of the game, and seemed a bit harsh. Replays don’t show clear enough whether Costa caught the Spanish player, but Capdevila certainly made a meal of it!
Spain will face Paraguay in the last Quarter-Final, and welcomes a two-day break of the World Cup as Quarter-Final football gets underway on Friday!
RANSACKER AWARDS OF THE DAY
Player of the Day: David Villa– You can play him up front, or wide on the left (as shown today) and he will score! A great performance from the Spanish striker!
Team of the Day – Spain – Although there wasn’t a stand-out performance from any of the teams today after two pretty poor games of football, Spain’s normal-time victory clinched it for me, and can see Spain beating Paraguay as well in the Quarter-Finals!
Goal of the Day: Villa– Sadly the only goal of the day in normal or extra-time. The only other goals were during the penalty shoot-out, but Villa did well to finish the rebound!
Villain of the Day: Capdevila– Whether replays showed he was elbowed by Costa, Capdevila made a meal of it and over-reacted to get Costa sent-off with only two minutes to go. Expected that from Portugal rather than Spain today!