Paraguay defeated Japan 5-3 in penalty kicks after the game ended in a scoreless draw after added time. Paraguay will now make it to the quarterfinals in World Cup odds for the first time in their history.
2010 World Cup betting favored Paraguay in the match against Japan but it took a penalty shootout for Paraguay to finally win. Paraguay converted all five of their penalty kicks while Japan defender Yuichi Komano hit the crossbar and that was the difference.
The match between Paraguay and Japan did not have many good chances so a penalty shootout was not a surprise. Both teams played very conservatively throughout the match. Paraguay had most of the possession but they didn’t do much with it as they only had three shots and only one on goal. Japan actually had more shots on goal but none were serious threats. The one scoring chance they did have was when Daisuke Matsui hit the crossbar in the 22nd minute.
The scoreless tie between Japan and Paraguay was only the third one in World Cup history for a round of 16 matches. Paraguay had not practiced penalty kicks much leading up to the World Cup but they sure looked good on Tuesday, making all five of them. Edgar Barreto, Lucas Barrios, Cristian Riveros, Nelson Valdez and Oscar Cardozo were the scorers for Paraguay.
Japan’s scorers were Yasuhito Endo, Makoto Hasebe and Keisuke Honda. The miss by Komano was a tough one but the puzzling part is why he was shooting at all. He is a defender who never scores goals and has no experience taking penalty shots. And he actually went before Honda who is a goal scorer.
Paraguay and Japan were the two lowest ranked teams left in the 2010 World Cup. It is the fourth straight World Cup appearance for Paraguay and it is the first time the team has ever reached the quarterfinals. Paraguay will be solid underdogs in the quarterfinals as they face either Spain or Portugal. That quarterfinal match will be played on Saturday with the winner moving into the semifinals.