Paraguay v Spain
Vuvuzela Rating: 7.4 – Frequent use of that bloody YouTube button!
A match predicted to be the most one sided quarter finals in World Cup history took place at Ellis Park on Saturday night. It pitted European Champions and generally well fancied Spain against the “other” South American side Paraguay. The general consensus was that Paraguay had about as much chance of winning as Maradona had of claiming Weight Watchers Slimmer of the year title.
Even though 97% of pundits had predicted a Spain win (the other 3% were simply unable to name the other side involved) Paraguay did threaten to upset the proverbial Paella cart. The first half was as dull as a tour around the Dulux magnolia warehouse with many people comparing it to watching the aforementioned paint drying, both sides looked nervous and neither wanted to take any chances in the first 45 minutes. A particular lowlight was Fernando Torres seemingly adding fuel to the rumour that his striking prowess was actually linked to his now absent golden locks with another poor performance.
The game came alive in the second half; Paraguay suddenly found themselves with a golden opportunity to open the scoring. Gerard Pique man-handled Oscar Cardoza in the area following a corner and the referee had no option but to award a penalty. Cardoza stepped up to take the penalty but got a case of the jelly-legs as he fired his effort straight into the body of Iker Casillas. Moments later Spain had a spot kick of their own, David Villa going down under the challenge of Antolin Alcaraz. Xabi Alonso refusing to let Villa take the spot kick and scoring himself, but the referee order a retake because every other Spanish player was in the area at the time. This time Paraguayan ‘keeper Justo Villar got his side out of jail with a good save to keep the scores level.
The game seemed destined to limp into extra time but David Villa had other ideas, after an on field cat fight with new penalty taker Alonso the Barcelona striker clearly had a point to prove. Andres Iniesta beat two players and set up Pedro who’s shot hit the post and fell to Villa, he curled in an effort which found its way into the back of the net via both posts and a stray vuvuzela. As a result of this 82nd minute strike Spain progress to the semi final and leave a distraught Paraguay to ponder what might have been had Cardoza been able to find the net from 12 yards. This was the textbook game of two halves, the first was somewhat forgettable whilst the second was played at an immense tempo and saw both sides given (and throwing away) guilt edged chances.
Match Statistics (Powered by Optajoke)
184 – During another lacklustre performance from Fernando Torres, the Liverpool striker covered a total of 184 yards in 55 minutes. Sloth.
750 – After Antolin Alcaraz’s conceded a penalty, a total of 750 Jail-based pun’s were made by TV commentators. Predictable.
1,984 – Due to missing Spain’s spot kick in the second half, there will need to be a total of 1,984 more penalties before Xabi Alonso is allowed to take another one. Outcast.