Paraguay v Japan

My notes

1. Entertaining game for 0-0. Paraguay had perhaps the slight edge in possession (I haven’t checked the official stats) and created a few more chances, but Japan certainly had its chances as well. Somewhat surprising that neither team managed to convert.

2. Japan is fast. They used that well. And their fans…Japan has their own football culture. How’s that for an understatement?

3. Paraguay occasionally seemed to lack imagination in the final third.

4. Paraguay’s players noticed that Japan’s goalie was diving early, apparently when Lucas Barrios’ well-struck and well-placed second penalty was almost saved. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th penalties were taken with slower and slower runups, each time with Japan’s goalie committing and the Paraguayan sliding it the other way.

5. Tough loss for Japan, who hit the crossbar on a penalty, and that sent them home. It also led to more pressure on the keeper, who probably was committing early in part because he felt the added pressure to make a save.

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