Wednesday, 30th June 2010
World Cup agony for Japan as Paraguay progress
Japan's World Cup adventure came to an end in Pretoria yesterday (Tuesday) as Paraguay won the last 16 clash between the two sides on penalties.
Oscar Cardozo was the match winner for the South American nation, scoring the final penalty after Japan's Yuichi Komano saw his spot kick come crashing back off the crossbar.
Both teams were looking to reach the quarter finals of a World Cup for the first time in their history and Paraguay enjoyed the lion's share of possession in what was a cagey affair.
Following his side's exit, Japanese coach Takeshi Okada said the blame should be laid at his door for the way he sent the team out.
"When I look back at what I could have done for the players and what I did as a head coach I should have been more insistent on winning," he stated afterwards.
Had Japan won yesterday's encounter, they would have gone on to play European champions Spain, who saw off Portugal 1-0 in Cape Town.
Written by Kimberley Homer