World Cup 2010: Paraguay vs. Japan Live Stream [UPDATED]
Japan and Paraguay will try to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals when the teams collide at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria this afternoon. Neither has ever made it to the last eight of the tournament before so one team is assured of being the best that their respective country has ever produced.
The Samurai Blue is Asia’s last team standing, and coach Takeshi Okada has called on his men to represent the continent in the manner of Ghana for Africa. The East Asians won two of their three games in the first round and their 3-1 elimination of Denmark in the final outing of the group stage has raised expectations.
Bars across Japan were preparing to show the match and tickets for a big-screen viewing in Tokyo’s hip Omotesando district were all sold out.
Coming into the tournament, the Japanese were labeled as an extremely defensive side that did not know how to score. But they have been the surprise of the 2010 FIFA World Cup so far–proving everyone wrong. Keisuke Honda, who plays for Russian Premier League side CSKA Moscow, has been one of the most exciting players to watch at this tournament. His lead-up play for Shinji Okazaki to score against the Danish Dynamite underlined the depth of his talents, and Paraguay needs to stop him.
Gerardo Martino’s side was the surprise winner of Group F, which included defending champions Italy. The South Americans’ defense is well organized. Yes, they have physical strength but are also good on the ball. While there is likely to be no change in the Japan lineup, the Guaranies have to make do without the suspended Victor Caceres, but Antolin Alcaraz could return after sitting out the last game through an ankle problem.
The game starts at 16:00 CET (10:00 a.m. ET).
UPDATE: Paraguay advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Japan 5-3 in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw.