World Cup 2010 Quarter-Final: Paraguay 0-1 Spain

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European champions Spain advanced to their first ever World Cup semi-finals after a late 1-0 victory over Paraguay at Ellis Park.

Paraguay were presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 55th minute when Gerard Piqué pulled down Óscar Cardozo in the area.

Cardozo took the spot-kick himself but struck it too close to Iker Casillas' left and the keeper made a comfortable stop.

Almost immediately up the other end, referee Carlos Batres again pointed to the spot, this time for a foul committed by Antolín Alcaraz on David Villa.

Xabi Alonso converted emphatically from the spot but was ordered to retake the kick because of encroachment by several team-mates.

Alonso trotted up once more but this time Villar denied him. The ball rebounded out and Villar appeared to bring down Cesc Fàbregas in the battle for the loose ball, but Batres waved away appeals for another penalty.

The decisive goal finally arrived with 83 minutes on the clock when Villa curled home the rebound after Pedro had his effort cannoned back off a post.

Spain will now face the in-form Germany in Durban on Wednesday for a place in the final.


Paraguay: Justo Villar; Darío Verón, Paulo da Silva, Antolín Alcaraz, Claudio Morel; Victor Caceres (Lucas Barrios, 84); Jonathan Santana, Édgar Barreto (Enrique Vera, 64), Cristian Riveros; Nelson Haedo Valdez (Roque Santa Cruz, 72), Óscar Cardozo

Spain: Iker Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol (Carlos Marchena, 84), Joan Capdevila; Sergio Busquets; Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso (Pedro, 75); Fernando Torres (Cesc Fàbregas, 56), David Villa

4Shots on target6
3Shots off target8
4Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
41Ball possession (%)59

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