Spain's Carles Puyol and Fernando Llorente (19) celebrate their victory over Portugal after their 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town June 29, 2010. [Agencies]
Spain and Paraguay squeezed into the World Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday while FIFA boss Sepp Blatter apologised for two colossal refereeing blunders that have created the tournament's biggest controversy.
With the last 16 round over, the World Cup now takes a break until Friday when two of the world's most talented sides, Netherlands and Brazil, kick off the first quarter-final.
Pre-tournament favourites Spain beat Iberian rivals Portugal 1-0 in Cape Town thanks to a goal from in-form striker David Villa, who became the tournament's joint top scorer with four.
After a back-heel from Xavi into the box, Villa saw his first effort blocked by goalkeeper Eduardo but managed to put the rebound into the net off the crossbar in the 63rd minute.
Though failing to score more, Spain looked classy and kept the world's most expensive player, Cristiano Ronaldo, largely at bay apart from one swerving free kick.
"We're working well, we want to create a bit of history," said coach Vicente del Bosque, who hopes to bring the trophy back to Spain for the first time.
FIRST PENALTY SHOOTOUT
In Tuesday's first game in Pretoria, Paraguay beat Japan 5-3 on penalties after a tedious goalless draw, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their history and ending Asian interest in the tournament.
In the first shootout of the tournament -- an agonising way to end games, hated by players and coaches -- Japan's Yuichi Komano hit the crossbar with the third kick, while Paraguay's players kept their cool to slot five home confidently.
"It's never nice for a match to be decided in this way," said Paraguay's coach Gerardo Martino, who wept uncontrollably in his dugout after striker Oscar Cardozo netted the winner.
Paraguay's win makes it the first time four South American teams have reached the World Cup quarter-finals.
The quarter-final matches now line up as follows: Netherlands v Brazil and Uruguay v Ghana on Friday, then Argentina v Germany and Paraguay v Spain on Saturday.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）