Day 19 of the
Paraguay win 5-4 on penalties
The first penalty shoot out of the tournament saw Paraguay conquer Japan and set up a quarter-final with Spain.
The best chances of the first-half would come for Paraguay. First Lucas Barrios was denied by Eiji Kawashima, having cleverly beaten a Japanese defender, while Roque Santa Cruz snatched his effort wide after the ball had dropped at his feet from a corner.
The second-half saw very little in the way of chances at either end as both sides geared up for an extra 30 minutes. Japanese goalkeeper Kawashima then produced a vital stop in extra time, smothering at the feet of Nelson Valdez, whose neat turn had got him away from the defence.
The game went the full two hours of play without a goal so the dreaded penalty shoot-out was needed to decide the fate of the two nations.
The first four penalties were converted with a degree of comfort. Yuichi Komano then handed Paraguay the advantage, sending his penalty off the crossbar. Paraguay would coolly convert their next two spot-kicks before Oscar Cardozo slotted home the crucial penalty to break the hearts of the Japanese contingent and seal a place in the quarter-finals for Paraguay.
A second-half goal from David Villa was enough for European champions Spain to narrowly see off a resilient Portugal side and progress to the last eight.
Portugal brought impressive form into the encounter, an unbeaten run of 19 games in which they conceded just three goals.
Their containing approach was successful throughout the opening 45 minutes and they arguably looked the more dangerous of the two sides, Hugo Almeida wasting a glorious chance to take the lead, glancing a header wide of the target from eight yards out.
It was Almeida again causing problems after the break, showing an impressive turn of foot to see off Gerard Pique before his cross deflected off Carlos Puyol and just inches wide of the far post.
Fernando Llorente came off the bench to replace Fernando Torres and should have opened the scoring with his first touch, heading straight at goalkeeper Eduardo from six yards after a superb cross from Sergio Ramos had found him unmarked.
Spain would make the significant breakthrough just minutes later, Andrea Iniesta combining with Xavi before David Villa dinked the ball over Eduardo and in off the underside of the bar to give Spain the lead.
Portugal looked to have no response and with the introduction of strikers Danny and Liedson, seemed to lose their shape completely. Their frustration began to show with Ricardo Costa dismissed late on for an off the ball incident involving Spanish right-back Joan Capdevilla. Portugal threw bodies forward late on but it came to nothing and Spain held on for a deserved victory.