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0 vs 1
Played
July 3, 2010 7:30 PM BST
Ellis Park, Johannesburgo
Referee:‬ Carlos Batres (CRC)‎
 
 
David Villa 82′
Top of the Match
David Villa
David Villa
Spain
Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas
Spain
Flop of the Match
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Spain
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Spain

World Cup 2010: Paraguay 0-1 Spain: David Villa strikes again to seal semi-final berth as both sides miss a penalty in dramatic second half

Spain hitman tops Golden Boot list as Cardozo and Alonso miss spot-kicks

By Clark Whitney

2010 FIFA World Cup- Spain vs Paraguay, Edgar Barreto and David Villa (Getty Images)
Spain edged past Paraguay on a cool, damp evening in Johannesburg. After either side missed a penalty early in the second half, David Villa netted a late winner for the Spaniards, who for the first time, have advanced to the semi-finals.

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Having scraped by Japan on penalties just four days ago, Paraguay entered tonight's match fatigued and in need of a few changes. Coach Geraldo Martino swapped six members of his previous starting XI, notably replacing forwards Roque Santa Cruz, Edgar Benitez, and Lucas Barrios with Nelson Valdez and Oscar Cardozo, who started as attackers in a 4-4-2 formation.

Vicente Del Bosque's Spain also narrowly qualified for the quarter-finals, but the coach opted to retain the entire starting line-up that featured in a 1-0 win over Portugal. Despite having a good run-out in the second half of that game, Fernando Llorente failed to earn a starting role ahead of faltering striker Fernando Torres.

From the opening kick-off, Paraguay pressed their opponents high up the pitch. Jonathan Santana first tested Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas after 50 seconds, but his shot was rather weak and lacked enough accuracy to beat the Real Madrid man.

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Paraguay played with a downright frenetic work rate, and for the most part, kept la Furia Roja from playing in the centre of the park. Strikers Torres, and in particular, David Villa, were forced to play out wide in order to receive service.

Much of the opening half hour was marked by poor distribution, poorer individual defending, and even worse finishing. The normally precise distributors Gerard Pique and Xabi Alonso were uncharacteristically wayward in their passing, and Paraguayan midfielders Cristian Riveros and Paulo da Silva made a pair of howlers.

Eventually, Del Bosque's men settled into their smooth passing game, and while the likes of Torres and Villa were able to beat their markers on the flanks, they had no options available in the penalty area. Their best chance of the first half was a looping volley from Xavi that missed over the bar.

To their benefit, the Spaniards were able to keep the opponents on their heels. After Santana's initial effort, Paraguay managed to break forward only once, but Claudio Morel's cross was just too strong to fall to Santana's head.

Five minutes before the half-time break, Paraguay should have taken the lead. Following a cross from the right side, Nelson Valdez chested the ball down and finished well, but was ruled offside. Replays showed that the Dortmund forward was kept onside by Pique, but the whistle came to Spain's rescue.

At the end of the first half, Paraguay were surely disappointed not to have taken the lead, but could be pleased with the result. Spain, by contrast, were surely let down by their lack of clear chances on goal. 


Three's a crowd | Paraguay defenders surround Andres Iniesta during a tight first half

At the start of the second half, play resumed as it had ended in the first half. No changes were made, and the relentless defensive work of Paraguay forced giveaways.

Del Bosque responded by bringing in Cesc Fabregas in place of Torres, in an attempt to pack the midfield. Seconds later, referee Carlos Batres made a game-changing decision. Following a corner kick, the referee awarded Paraguay a penalty after Pique dragged down Cardozo. The Paraguayan striker stepped up to the spot, but had his kick saved by Casillas in the lower-right corner of goal.

Moments later, Villa was played through on goal, and earned a penalty as Antolin Alcaraz pulled him down. Xabi Alonso netted from the spot, but the referee signaled a re-take due to encroachment. On take two, goalkeeper Justo Villar parried to his left and appeared to foul Cesc Fabregas before Sergio Ramos' follow-up was cleared off the line.

Cesc Fabregas

Towards the end of regulation, Spain finally began to attack with width, but appeared more sluggish than before. The game seemed destined for extra time before, all of a sudden, Villa netted his fifth goal of the tournament. Andres Iniesta burst to the edge of the penalty area before teeing up substitute Pedro, whose shot beat Villar, but clanged off the left post. Villa was first to the rebound, and curled his follow-up off the inside of the right post.

Paraguay were uninterested in exiting the tournament without a fight. Striker Lucas Barrios came off the bench to inject a sense of urgency into the Paraguayan attack, and with two minutes left, the Dortmund striker fired a blast that Casillas could only bobble. Substitute Roque Santa Cruz was first to the ball, but Casillas heroically blocked his effort.

At the other end, Villa had a chance to put the game to rest, but Villar made a terrific save to preserve a chance for Paraguay, but it was all in vain. Spain maintained possession exceptionally throughout injury time, and advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

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Paraguay

1
J. Villar
Goalkeeper
0.00
4
D. Verón
Midfielder
0.00
32
0.00
14
Darabantex
Defender
0.00
3
C. Morel
Defender
71′
0.00
16
C. Riveros
Midfielder
0.00
5
Víctor Cáceres
Midfielder
59′ 85′
0.00
8
Edgar Barreto
Midfielder
0.00
18
Haedo Valdéz
Striker
72′
0.00
11
J. Santana
Midfielder
87′ 87′
0.00
7
Ó. Cardozo
Striker
0.00

Spain

0.00
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
0.00
4
0.00
3
Piqué
Defender
57′
0.00
5
0.00
11
0.00
8
0.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
63′
0.00
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
75′
0.00
6
Xavi
Midfielder
0.00
9
0.00
9

Substitutes

22
0.00
5
0.00
23
R. Gamarra
Striker
0.00
12
0.00
6
C. Bonet
Defender
0.00
17
A. Torres
Midfielder
0.00
5
J. Cáceres
Defender
0.00
4
D. Caniza
Defender
0.00
20
0.00
-
0.00
19
L. Barrios
Striker
85′
0.00
9
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
0.00
25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
0.00
17
Arbeloa
Defender
0.00
33
0.00
8
Juan Mata
Midfielder
0.00
8
Javi Martínez
Midfielder
0.00
15
0.00
14
0.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
56′
0.00
7
Pedro
Striker
75′
0.00
24
0.00
21
David Silva
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
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