Paraguay 0 - 0 Japan (after extra time)
Paraguay win 5-3 on penalties
Forgot to hit Publish Post, sorry [Ed]
There was a game before the penalties, but I won't detain you with it. Suffice it to say that the first half, the last half hour and the second half of extra time were rubbish. I can't testify to minutes 45 to 60, they may have been brilliant, but after the gripping first half I found it impossible to tear myself away from Countdown. I turned back in the end, it was that or Deal or No Deal, but judging by the general tone of the commentators on my return the entertainment value of the lost fifteen minutes seems to have been intermittent at best.
The first half of extra time was fractionally better, but not sufficiently to induce me to describe it, so we'll skip straight to the penalty shootout. Komano hit the bar with Japan's third, Paraguay scored all five, and that was that. That's something of a cursory description as well, isn't it? Oh well, sometimes you lay the golden egg and sometimes it's just a wet fart.
Paraguay's success means four South American teams make the final eight. Given that we started with five out of 32, and Chile were knocked out by Brazil, I'm sure you can deduce that there are still as many South American sides left as mathematics would allow.
Japan's exit ends the direct interest of the continent of Asia in this tournament. To go with the four South American teams there are three European ones and Ghana for the host continent. As it seems to be viewed now. Now England have gone am I supposed to cheer for the European countries? Actually, I'm cheering for the countries who have never won it before. It was so nice when France won in 1998, it would be nice to have it happen again. Otherwise, I'd like Argentina to win so I can clean up in the office sweepstake.
Next, the big one. Spain against Portugal, to complete the quarter final line up. Tomorrow and Thursday we get two days without football, and judging by this game it's about time.
I know what you're all wondering - did I get the conundrum? How could you doubt me? Now SKEDADDLE.