Sunday, July 4, 2010

QF4: Spain vs Paraguay 1-0

So Paraguay found out what must be done to contain Spain. Run, run and run. Close down, work hard and fight for the ball. Leave Spain on the ball and they will murder you. As I write this at the end of first half, it seems Paraguay know the formula and indeed look the likelier of the two teams to score. In fact, they have had a goal ruled out incorrectly for offside. Puyol has struggled against the pace Nelson Valdez and another striker might have made more use of it.

The two Xavis', Alonso and Hernandez have done extremely well with their inter-play and intricate passing, as always; but most of it has been sideways and in front of the stubborn Paraguayan defence.

Paraguay is aware of the formula, all they have to do is the minor task of implementing it.....

A dramatic second half which saw two penalties, and two misses all in a span of less than 3 minutes spiced up a drab encounter. Spain were a touch lucky, with a couple of decisions going in their favour; one the earlier disallowed goal, and the second where the Paraguay penalty should have been retaken. It would have been really interesting had Paraguay scored.

But, notwithstanding those decisions, when a dull game needed a bit of quality, a bit of finesse, a bit of crispness, in cometh Andres Aniesta. The man who was unlucky to miss the Player of the Year award in 2009, showed what a class act he is, yet again. Driving at the heart of the Paraguayan defence, he cut past a couple of defenders, to lay a perfect pass to Pedro who was unlucky to hit the bar. Who does the ball fall back to? Yet again, the Spanish talisman, David Villa. If you ever need someone, with the ball at his feet; the opposition defenders diving desperately in front of him; and all you want is someone with composure, calmness and the ability to slot the ball in the net; you couldn't ask for a better person than David Villa. Had the same composure been shown by Roque Santa Cruz a few minutes later when he was one-on-one with Casillas, the match would have been back in the balance. That is all what differentiates a good striker and a great one.

Did Spain deserve to go through? Not sure. Paraguay were definitely unlucky; and one must say that it remains to be seen if Spain can come back from a losing position, if they encounter such a situation in the later stages.

Man of the match : Andres Iniesta for his moment of magic.


  1. 1. Wasnt it an offside? Cordozo, even though he didnt receive the ball, was in an offside position when the ball was played
    2. One is Xavi and the other is Xabi :P

    Entertaining second half. Germany vs. Spain is going to be a cracker. Though I'm a big Spain fan, they aren't really playing well. They're just scraping through. My money is on Germany.


  2. hmm.. the offside comes down down to if the referee felt that the cordoza was interfering with the play or not..