PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 29: Lucas Barrios of Paraguay tackles Yuji Nakazawa of Japan during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Paraguay and Japan at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 29, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Paraguay Prevails: Japan Sent Packing After Missing In Penalty Kick Shootout

Paraguay is the group winner in today's Round of 16 match against Japan yet accumulated one fewer win and point in group stage. On Tuesday, they will need to overcome a numerical disadvantage in midfield to eliminate the Japanese.

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World Cup 2010, Paraguay Vs. Japan: Tie Broken Through Penalty Kicks Sends Paraguay To First Quarterfinal

Paraguay is through to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup, but the only thing that separated the two sides in Pretoria on Tuesday was a crossbar.

After a scoreless 120 minutes that saw two teams play each other to a stand-off, giving us the first penalty kick shoot-out of this year's World Cup, with the tiebreaker's decisive moment coming with the sixth kick, Japanese defender Yuichi Komano putting kiss kick off the crossbar.

Each team would covert their other kicks, with Paraguay winning 5-3 after Oscar Cardozo beat Enji Kawashima to the lower left hand corner, putting Paraguay into their first quarterfinal.

Paraguay had controlled most of the play through the match's 120 minutes, but the threat of a Japanese counter attack - a threat which almost came to fruition twice in the first half - curtailed Paraguay's aggression.  As a result, both teams' best chances came in the first 30 minutes with the exception of a Nelson Valdez chance in extra time.

But the teams would end the match scoreless, a fair result for each team, with the Round of 16 tie ultimately swayed by Komano's kick.

Japan ties their best finish ever, having also advanced out of group stage in 2002, while Paraguay now awaits the Spain-Portugal winner in the quarterfinals.

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World Cup 2010, Paraguay Vs. Japan: Paraguay Wins Penalty Kick Shootout, 5-3

Paraguay advances the its first World Cup quarterfinal after Oscar Cardozo scored on the ninth penalty kick, eliminating Japan 0-0, 5-3 on penalty kicks.

Japan and Paraguay went to the shootout after a scoreless 120 minutes and gained the advantage on the sixth kick when Japanese defender Yuichi Komano blasted his attempt off the crossbar. Nelson Valdez and Cardozo converted the two subsequent kicks to put Paraguay into the final eight,

Team - PK Taken By - Result - Score
Paraguay - Edgar Barreto - Score to Enji Kawashima's lower right (guessed correctly) - 1-0, Paraguay
Japan - Yasuhito Endo - Score to Justo Villar's upper left (guessed incorrectly) - 1-1
Paraguay - Lucas Barrios - Score to Enji Kawashima's lower left (guessed correctly) - 2-1, Paraguay
Japan - Makoto Hasebe - Score to Justo Villar's upper right (guessed correctly) - 2-2
Paraguay - Cristian Riveros - Score to Enji Kawashima's lower left (guessed incorrectly) - 3-2, Paraguay
Japan - Yuichi Komano - Missed, off the crossbar - 3-2, Paraguay
Paraguay - Nelson Valdez - Score into top of net, middle - 4-2, Paraguay
Japan - Keisuke Honda - Scored to the lower right of Justo Villar (guess incorrectly) - 4-3, Paraguay
Paraguay - Oscar Cardozo - Scored to the lower right of Enji Kawashima (guess incorrectly) - 5-3, Paraguay wins

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World Cup 2010, Paraguay Vs. Japan: Scoreless Match Going To Penalty Kicks

Paraguay and Japan are scoreless through 120 minutes and will have the 2010 World Cup's first penalty kick shoot-out, the winner going to the quaterfinals.

Neither country has ever made the quarterfinals, and after 120 minutes, penalty kicks will determine which nation will make its soccer history.

Each team will take five penalty kicks, and if the teams are still drawn after those five, the teams will alternate kicks until there is a team ahead after a round of attempts.

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World Cup 2010, Paraguay Vs. Japan: Second Half Ends Scoreless, Match Headed For Extra Time

A tactical match that has seen slight adjustments by each side yield a relatively uneventful second half will go to extra time with Japan and Paraguay scoreless.

Paraguay has still held more possession but has limited the counter attacking opportunities given Japan in the first half.  Japan has responded by bringing on more attack-minded personnel, but it has been to no avail.  The match remains scoreless, with the teams having combined for five shots on goal.

The teams will now play a 30 minute extra period.  If the sides are still tied afterward, Japan and Paraguay will engage in the tournament's first penalty shoot-out.

Each team has one substitution remaining.

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World Cup 2010, Paraguay Vs. Japan: Even First Half Sends Teams To Half Scoreless

Japan and Paraguay have taken the 2010 World Cup's seventh Round of 16 match to halftime scoreless, both teams generating sparse chances in an evenly played first half.

While Paraguay has dominated possession, holding 67 percent of the ball, their play has yet to significantly threaten Japan, with Lucas Barios generating one chance and another, for Roque Santa Cruz, coming off a corner kick.

As the possession numbers would hint, Japan's best chances have come against the run-of-play.  Daisuke Matsui hit the crossbar midway through the half with a shot from 24 yards while Keisuke Honda sliced a counter attack chance wide from near the arc.

Gerardo Martino, although starting Edgar Benítez (normally a forward), is playing a 4-4-2 with Benítez on the left, while Japan's Takeshi Okada has, for the first time this tournament, started a striker (Yoshito Okubo) and is playing with three players high in his formation.

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