Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hope for Last Match Prediction of Japan vs Paraguay

Japan and Paraguay stand on the brink of history ahead of their Round of 16 clash at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Neither side has ever made it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, so one team is guaranteed to be the greatest that their respective country has ever produced.

Completed Matches Prediction Japan vs Paraguay, This match-up is one of the most unexpected and unlikely in the second round, and in some respects courtesy of the failings of others.

Paraguay were expected to be playing for second place in their group, but Italy's failure to win a match saw them eliminiated, with Paraguay taking the top spot despite only winning once themselves.

Japan were an unexpected force to be reckoned with in their group, as they toppled both Cameroon and Denmark, while falling by only by a single goal against the highly-touted Dutch.

And having enjoyed their underdogs tag so far, Japan coach Takeshi Okada has no intention of changing things around, despite his bold pre-competition prediction that his team would make the semifinals.

"Paraguay are very strong and we will be the underdogs," said Okada, who coached Japan in their World Cup finals debut in 1998 when they lost all three group matches.

"Honestly speaking, we trail the rest of the world in many senses in the soccer arena, but our great strength is we play as a unit. We have proved that soccer is a team sport."

However Prediksi Paraguay vs Jepang, Okada is aware that breaking down Paraguay's backline won't be easy.

"Our first match was an obstacle, and since then there has been one obstacle after another. So nothing has changed. Paraguay's defense is solid and they press ahead as a whole. They know how to win in the clutch."

Although Japan reached the second round once before, that was on home soil in 2002, when they were then beaten 1-0 by Turkey. Otherwise they had never won a match in the World Cup until this year, losing five and drawing just once, 0-0 with Croatia in 2006.

Paraguay have a much longer history in the tournament, and coach Gerardo Martino is desperate for his team to achieve something that will make them stand out from their predecessors.

"If we don't go through nobody much will remember us (but) if we turn in Paraguay's best ever showing then they will talk about us for a good while," he said.

Roque Santa Cruz believes the team has what it takes to keep progressing to a quarterfinal match-up against either Spain or Portugal.

"These can be historic times for us as we feel stronger than ever. We are a tight-knit group with lots of quality to get us through to the next round," said the Manchester City striker.

Paraguay have had certainly better luck this time around than in their three previous second round appearances. In 1986 they were badly beaten 3-0 by England before drawing hosts and eventual winners France in 1998. There they lost to the first ever golden goal in World Cup history, scored by new France coach Laurent Blanc.

Four years later, the draw again did them no favors, as Germany awaited them and a goal two minutes from time broke Paraguayan hearts as the Germans went on to the final.


Paraguay's defense has been air-tight until now, and unless Japan can get in behind the South Americans, they'll find it very hard to score. Paraguay won't come forward like Denmark did, and Japan will have to take every chance they get because the talented South Americans are likely to find a way through the Japanese back line.

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