Fernando Torres is a genuine pin up boy in Tenerife, well his fashion poses adorn the posters for El Corte Ingles, but he and several other top names in this World Cup have looked like they need at least a month relaxing on the beach.
Spain 1, Portugal 0
Like a raging bull, Spain came charging out at the start of this game, Villa forced an Eduardo save and Torres forced a tip over from a corner. Portugal said is that it and took hold of the game with tight marking and strong possesion. Tiago had a great chance and found Casillas in uncertain form shovelling his long shot up into the air and scrambling it clear as he was charged at. Ronaldo put in a testing free kick and again Casillas seemed to panic, catching the ball as if it was a red hot potato. The keeper and captain did make amends running out 35 yards to deny Simao as he bore down on him.
The second half had barely started before Almeida tried a goalmouth cross and Puyol got in the way, his deflection causing the ball to bounce threateningly in front of Casillas before going out wide. As Ronaldo blended into the background, another great player Torres was taken off, a pale shadow of his best form. Replacement Llorente made an instant impression getting into a clear position before heading it straight at Eduardo. Villa is always lively and after putting a shot wide he came back for another go forcing a strong save from the Portugal keeper but snapping up the rebound for a Spain goal. Ramos nearly doubled up, flashing his shot across the Portugal goalmouth. Portugal should have upped the pace but didn’t , Llorente had another headed chance for Spain, this time flicked wide. There was a bit of controversy near the end as Costa was sent off for Portugal after a passing glance of players saw Capdevila rolling around with his hands over his face, when he got up there were of course no signs of contact. Alves squared up to him briefly but it was a distraction from Portugals lack of playing ambition and the overall quality of Spain.
Paraguay 0, Japan 0 (Paraguay win 5-3 on penalties)
Sadly a game where a bit of a gamble could have tipped it for either side but both played safe and penalties ruled the day. Barrios threatened to turn on the light in the first half, beating two Japan defenders with a clever turn before hitting the crossbar. Even the highly skilled Honda couldn’t fire Japan’s imagination in the second half, his best being a low shot that was easily saved. So penalties were needed to split the sides and Komanos miss off the crossbar proved to be the turning point.