Japan Falls to Paraguay on Penalties

Japan’s run at the 2010 FIFA World Cup came to an end in the round of 16 when they were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Paraguay. The Blue Samurai and the red and white clad South Americans played out an largely uneventful 90 minutes in which the Japanese seemed tired and the Paraguayans refusing to be caught on the counter. Unlike the Denmark game there were very few set-piece opportunities throughout the match for Japan and during open play Keisuke Honda was kept in check by the Paraguayan defence.

Marcus "Tulio" Tanaka falls to the ground after the penalty miss by Komano

Penalty Shoot-out

After regular time thee was another nervous 30 minutes of extra time before before referee Bleeckere indicated that the match would go to penalties. With the scores at 3-2 Japanese defender Yuichi Komano clipped the crossbar while missing his penalty giving Paraguay the advantage, an advantage they didn’t give up as they went on to win 5-4.

Japanese Football Team World Cup 2010
The Japanese Football Team's starting lineup before the match agaist Paraguay

Well Done Japan

I predicted in my post about Japan’ chances at the 2010 World Cup that Japan would make it though to the round of 16 and hoped that this momentum would have pushed then at least into the last eight. This was not to be but I am happy the Japanese represented their country well in the opening game against Cameroon and provided awesome entertainment in the game against Denmark.

Quarter finals Await

Things are really starting to get interesting in the World with powerhouses like France and Italy heading home and teams like Brazil and Argentina starting to sparkle at the right time.