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Albirroja makes history
by Paul Kennedy, June 29th, 2010 2:18PM

TAGS:  world cup


[PARAGUAY-JAPAN] Paraguay reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time when it beat Japan on penalties after their game in Pretoria ended in a 0-0 tie.

What we liked ...

-- Paraguay's shootout win moves it into the quarterfinals for the first time in eight World Cup appearances and gives South America four teams in the final eight for the first time. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are all in separate pairings, creating the possibility of an all-South American final four.

-- The Albirroja made all five attempts from the penalty spot. Oscar Cardozo c linched the win on the fifth shot after Edgar Barreto, Lucas Barrios, Cristian Riveros and Nelson Valdez converted. Japan goalie Eiji Kawashima only came close on Barrios' shot. On Japan's third shot, Yuichi Komano sent his right-footed shot off the crossbar.

What we didn't like ...

-- Neither team created many good chances. The closest either team came to scoring was Japan's Daisuke Matsui, who hit the crossbar in the 21st minute. Paraguay's best two chances were snuffed out by Kawashima.

-- Japan coach Takeshi Okada took responsibility for the Blue Samurai's elimination, announcing his likely retirement after the game. "As the coach, I feel I should have been done more. We played too deep. [Forward Keisuke] Honda was isolated today. Again, I take full responsibility.”

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