Recap of World Cup Quarterfinal Game 2: Paraguay vs. Spain

Game 2: Paraguay vs. Spain

In the pre-game soccer fans thought this game would be high scoring just like Argentina-Germany game. But in the end it was just the opposite. In the first half it was all strong defense by both sides shutting each other down only holding Paraguay to one shot on goal and Spain only had 4 shots in the entire first half.

But the second half was a whole new game. In the 59th minute, Spain’s Gerard Piqué committed a costly foul in the box against Paraguay’s Óscar Cardozo. Cardozo was awarded a pentaly kick but his attempt was saved by Spain goaltender Iker Casillas in the left post. In the 61st minute, Paraguay’s Antolín Alcaraz fouled Spain’s David Villa in the box area.

Here is where it gets interesting. Xabi Alonso converted the initial penalty kick but had to take it again after the referee ruled Spain’s players had entered the box before the kick was taken. Alonso put the second attempt low to the right, similar to Cardozo, and Paraguay goaltender Justo Villar guessed correctly to make the save.

The game stayed tied until the 83rd minute where David Villa came to the rescue. After a beatiful pass by #4 Carlos Marchena to # 10 Cesc Fábregas who shoots off the post and then David Villa gets the rebound and puts it off the right post and into the net to take the 1-0 lead and never look back as they advance to the semifinals.

This game was all Spain as they completed 355 more passes than Paraguay, the sixth-highest difference since the stat was first tracked in 1966. They also controlled 60% time of possession and had 16 shots in the game.

Paraguay faught as hard as they could to try and reach another penalty kick shootout but were not able to do so. They fouled 25 times in the game and they only had 9 shots on goal. They were lucky to get here but did play their style of soccer to almost advance to the semi-finals.

Game Notes

Each keeper saved a penalty, marking the second time in World Cup history that has happened, and first since Argentina-Mexico at the first World Cup in 1930.

-Paraguay completed 140 of 233 passes (60.1 percent), and the passes completed and completion percentage are fourth-lowest in a World Cup match since 1966. Paraguay completed 55 passes in the opposition half, tied with Serbia in 2006 for third-fewest in a World Cup match.

– Three European teams are in the semifinals, the seventh time in the last eight World Cups Europe has put 3-plus teams in the semis. No European country has ever won a World Cup outside of Europe.

Quote of the game:

“The post wanted it to go in.” David Villa on his goal in the 83rd minute.

Video:

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