The Paraguay and Japan score after full time certainly reflected the type of game both teams played here in South Africa tonight; a gigantic emphasis on defense, with both teams looking for counterattacks and mistake by the other. That big mistake or quick and efficient counterattack would never come, for either side, and after 90 minutes we were stuck in a 0 0 draw.
World Cup overtime require two additional periods to be played of 15 minutes each. There is no golden goal, so all 30 minutes are always played. The first half of overtime was certainly representative of the match, with each side relying on their defense, with neither tired defense ever breaking down.
The second half of overtime got a little chippy, as many free kicks (from often dangerous spots) were awarded, but neither team came all that close to scoring really. Yet in the 115th minute, Japan likely had their best chance to score of the entire match off a counterattack they had been waiting for all night. Yet they just didn’t have enough people pushing forward. The keeper was pulled off his line, and a cross came through the box, but no one was there to finish. Scary moment for Paraguay, but we remained at 0 0.
As the match progressed, the time in Japan began to push 01:30 AM, but I doubt many could go to sleep with the result still totally up in the air
Overall, the style of the match certainly favored Japan, as Paraguay dominated possession (61% to 39%) and shots on goal (6 to 2). In the end, Japan would not concede a goal, and two exhausted sides would head towards a penalty shootout, our first of the World Cup.
World Cup shoot out rules require 5 shooters from each side. Whoever scored the most goals, wins. If we are tied after 5 shots, we go to sudden death. And the first team to score, and have the other miss, wins.
Paraguay would have to shoot first. and for the first time of the match, the crowd really got into it and stood as one.
Paraguay first shot: [GOAL]. Beautiful strike, kept it low and put it in the corner of the net. 1 0
Japan first shot: [GOAL]. Keeper guesses the wrong side, placed easily into the back of the net. Keeper probably didn’t have a chance anyway. 1 1.
Paraguay second shot: [GOAL]. Keeper guesses the right way and just, just misses the ball. Ball was placed perfectly in the corner. 2 1
Japan second shot: [GOAL]. Japan answers. Elevates and places it right in the corner. 2 2.
Paraguay third shot: [GOAL]. Keeper dives a bit early, and the ball is simply tapped in, almost straight on. 3 2
Japan third shot: [MISS]. A defender from Japan hits the cross bar, striking the ball a bit too hard. Paraguay has an easy path to victory now. 3 2
Paraguay fourth shot: [GOAL] Too easy. Keeper never had a chance. Too much power. 4 2
Japan fourth shot: [GOAL] Keeper tries to advance and come off his line, but ball is placed easily into the opposite side of the net. If Paraguay makes the next shot, they win anyway. 4 3
Paraguay fifth shot: [GOAL] And it is all over. The keeper never had a chance with any of the 5 shots, never even came close. 5 3
In the end, Paraguay, who dominated the statistics sheet, eventually dominates the shootout, with the final score 0 0, with Paraguay advances on penalty kicks 5 3.
Congratulations Paraguay, and certain heartbreak for Japan and its fans, who likely stayed up late only to see the team falter at the end.
Paraguay will now play the Spain vs Portugal winner, which should be an excellent match. Make sure to tune in and check back for a recap off all the action later!