RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Cup Running Over


June 29, 2010 12:40 PM

Instant Round of 16 Review: Zzzzz, It's Paraguay

SCORE: Paraguay 0, Japan 0 (Paraguay wins on penalties 5-3). Not a great advertisement for the sport.

TURNING POINT: Not a chance. This game had a definite pattern with Paraguay retaining possession and attacking in occasional concerted fashion and Japan making its forays in occasional quick bursts. Note the double use of the world "occasional," (actually we just mentioned it a third time), as this game was ugly, as predicted. Fitting that it was decided on a botched kick.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Japanese captain Yuji Nakazawa, aka "The Bomber," made a key saving tackle or two at the back. So did the Japanese keeper, Eiji Kawashima. Not in the shootout, however.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: We were dying for a surprise all 120 minutes. Still are. In the 87th minute, a second ball rolled onto the field -- perhaps the ball boys were trying to get a little action going. Wouldn't have made a difference with these teams though.

BIGGEST NO-SHOW: The whole match really. Even the managers seemed bored. By the end, another refereeing mistake would have been welcome.

IF THE GAME WERE A ROLLING STONES SONG IT WOULD BE: Please Go Home

A Member Of