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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