It was a slow game of chess for the Spanish-speaking nations in a match officiated by a Spanish-speaking Guatemalan referee. This quarter-final match was a quiet affair with sporadic attacks from both sides.
Spain had a more of attempts at goal than Paraguay, but the later more telling ones. Paraguay scored a perfect ball by Martinez that was wrongly disallowed for offside by the referee in the 41st minute. Otherwise the match hibernated for extended durations of play.
The second half continued the dull encounter it was until the 58th minute when Pique had a moment of madness, wrestling down a striker, conceding a penalty which was missed by Cardoso, the goalkeeper Cassilas going low to his left to make a save.
Within a minute, David Villa was pushed by Alcaraz and Xavi Alonso initially converted but there was an encroachment by Spanish players and it was retaken. Alonso had a retake saved when the goalkeeper Villar went down to his left to save a hard and low shot and Fabregas crushed the rebound against the post.
That penalty drama lasted 2 minutes and the game recoiled to its slumber once more. Spain were to come with the sucker punch of David Villa after 83 minutes. Iniesta ran through the middle of the Paraguayan defence like hot knife through butter, setting up Pedro whose attempt hit the right upright post and the ricochet fell into the feet of Villa. Villa’s curly shot kissed both posts before nestling in the net.