Tuesday, June 29, 2010
World Cup 2010 Game 55
Paraguay 0, Japan 0
The only thing more dissatisfying than winning a game on Penalty Kicks is losing one.
In one of the earlier telecasts an ESPN announcer chatted about a psued0 debate among statisticians as to whether these such games should be counted as a loss or a draw. Hard to explain how you lost a game where they opponent didn't score, but, then again, if there is a result, then one team did what they needed more than the other.
Japan did not exactly go into a shell and play for a draw, but they were very conservative, often playing only one striker up front and hoping for a moment of brilliance from Honda rather than a team goal. Paraguay, accustomed to playing Brazil and Argentina twice in qualifications had a little more practice in playing defensive shut down games. Neither team had ever made it to the quarterfinals.
Paraguay will be heavy underdogs against either Spain or Portugal but they have beaten two of the teams in the final eight within the last year, so they can score goals in regulation time...though I'm sure if you offered them a penalty kick shoot out right now, they would take it.