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Spain vs. Paraguay: Villa lifts Spain in 83rd

David Villa again scored the winner as Spain beat Paraguay, 1-0, to advance to its first ever World Cup semifinals.

The striker's tournament-high fifth goal sets up a semifinal against Germany in Durban on Wednesday.

Read more from Steve Goff about Spain's win here.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  July 3, 2010; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Paraguay , Spain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Spain vs. Paraguay in World Cup quarterfinal
Next: Matchnight: United at San Jose

Comments

So, here's what happens. Once every match, Iniesta and Xavi pass the ball till it is white hot, then Villa smells highlight and puts it in the back of the net. Quite amazing.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Once again very poor officiating...this time an old nemis of the USA from Guatamala. How this gentleman got a match of this importance is beyond me.

Paraguay deserved better.

Posted by: Shark21 | July 3, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Paraguay maybe got slighted on the offside call in the first half - i never saw a decent replay of it. other than that, i don't see how the officiating victimized them. if they make that penalty kick, it's a different game. they also had a very good chance to equalize late on that Casillas did well to close down. but it's not like they had more than 3 or 4 good scoring chances the whole game. they held their own against Spain, but complaining about the officiating is nothing more than a knee-jerk "the team i wanted to win didn't win" reaction.

i recognized the referee as being from CONCACAF, but i honestly don't know much of his history with the USMNT. is he really a nemesis? i searched and found a commenter somewhere who was saying he favored the US. let's save the referee critiques for the truly egregious nonsense. i think the reffing has been very good in this tournament, with a few exceptions (Edu goal vs. Slovenia, Lampard goal that wasn't, Tim Cahill red card vs. Germany, Luis Fabiano double-handled goal and maybe a couple others).

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 3, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Paraguay were not victimized on the offside. The player who "scored" Valdez? was not in an offside position. However, another player was and while he did not touch the ball, he made a play for it in the air which occupied a defender. In that case, he was not a "passive" offside and the AR got the call right.

Posted by: griffin1108 | July 3, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

There was some "truly egregious nonsense" in the officiating.

On virtually every PK, there is a violation as players enter the penalty area before the kick is taken. This is one of the least enforced rules violations in world futball.

On Paraguay's PK, several Spanish players were virtually even with the kicker as he shot the ball to Casilla's hands. No call against them. No retake. Absolutely consistent with referee practice.

Less than two minutes later, Spain gets a PK. Spanish players encroach as the kicker puts the ball into the net. The ref blows for encroachment and orders the unsuccessful retake. A correct call under the rules.

If the ref was ready to enforce the encroachment rule at one end, it was egregious not to do it at the other. The law of averages says that had they been awarded a retake, Paraguay would have scored -- possibly changing the outcome of the match.

Posted by: runningcloud | July 4, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

casillas could have been called for coming off his line early on the PK.

looking forward to spain germany

Posted by: OWNTF | July 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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