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Date: 24 April 2019

  World - Soccer

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Spain narrowly beat Paraguay to sneak into semis

[Posted 03 Jul 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Spain narrowly beat Paraguay to sneak into semis

Spain narrowly beat a battling Paraguay 1-0 to secure the last semi-final berth against the marauding Germans.

The Spaniards scored a very late goal in the 82nd minute to beat the South Americans who certainly deserved more than the loss they suffered tonight. David Villa was again the scorer of the decisive goal, when he latched onto a rebound from Pedro. Villa's strike bounced from one upright pole to another before finding the net. The goal was a creation of Spain's most outstanding player for the night Andres Iniesta who skipped the challenge of two defenders to provide the assist.

In a match in which the two goalkeepers provided heroic performances, Spain have to thank Iker Cassilas who stopped a penalty from Oscar Caadozo in the 57th minute. Cassilas also had to block a point blank strike by Roque Santa Cruz's rebound effort in the 89th minute after he had spilled Lucas Barios's shot. Santa Cruz's effort looked goal-bound and Spain heaved a huge sigh of relief.

The match was filled with Drama of its own. A minute after Cassilas had saved a penalty, Villa fell down in the box under the slightest of challenges and the referee gave a penalty to Spain. After Xavi Alonso scored the initial kick, the referee adjudged that a Spanish player had encroached into the box before the kick was taken and ordered a re-take.  Justo Villar dived to his left to block Alonso's retaken effort.

The Spaniards were able to nervously hold onto their 82nd minute goal to qualify for the semi-finals, where a German team in terrific form will be awaiting their challenge. Spain will have to improve in all departments if they are to stand the litmus test from the polished Germans. If their performances against England and Argentina in an earlier match  are anything to go by, Germany are now the team to beat in this tournament. They look like Championship material. 


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