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7.01.2010

Round of 16: Spain beat Portugal but... where was Cristiano Ronaldo?

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David Villa is the name of the impressive striker that beat Portugal out of the World Cup. In this match, Villa did everything that Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to do: score, win, being the main atraction of the game, take his country to the next level.

Spain beat Portugal only 1-0 but we could say that it was the best match of Del Bosque's side so far. If Xavi, Iniesta, Ramos and Villa keep playing like this, this may be the Cup of Spain after all.

As for Ronaldo, it seems like the curse of the last Nike advert touched him too: all footballers that took part of the spot had a sad participation in this World Cup (Rooney, Cannavaro, Ribery, Drogba, Ronaldo) or could not even take part of it (Ronaldinho). In the end, Portugal did not respond to the high expectations they came with, and Cristiano was not the same player that scored more than 30 goal in the last season with Real Madrid.

Spain will face now Paraguay, and this is the perfect chance to make history and finally win the World crown for the "Red Fury". If they beat Paraguay and reach the semis, nothing will stop them.

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Round of 16: Paraguay reach quarterfinals for the first time in history after defeating Japan

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At the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Paraguay had a hard time trying to defeat a really strong Japanese team. The 0-0 tie between both sides did not move, not even in overtime, so the winner of the game would have to be know after a penalty shoot-out.

All Paraguayan shooters scored in the penalty shoot-out: Edgar Barreto, Lucas Barrios, Cristian Riveros, Haedo Valdez and Oscar Cardozo. Japan scored through Yasuhito Endo, Makoto Hasebe and Keisuke Honda, but Yuichi Komano hit the bar and missed the chance of booking a place for his country in quarterfinals.

Thousands of fans in Paraguay came out to the streets to celebrate this historical moment for the "albirroja", even the famous model Larissa Riquelme, who has been named as the "Bride of the World Cup".

Now the South American squad will face the powerful Spain, who beat Portugal and is a clear favorite to advance to the final stage. However, "Tata" Martino's side knows that from now on, everything is possible.

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Round of 16: Slovakia was no rival for the Netherlands

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The Netherlands came to South Africa with enormous expectation, and they have done it right so far. Bert van Marwijk's side beat Slovakia 2-1 at the Durban stadium and advanced to the quarterfinals. Now they are set for a dramatic encounter with Brazil on friday.

Arjen Robben is once again the playmaker of the Netherlands, and he scored the first goal of his team at minute 18. Wesley Sneijder netted the second one at 84', but Slovakia managed to score the goal of honor in the very last minute of the match.

Mabye the Netherlands are not displaying their famous "Total Football" but they have enough talent to beat Brazil and even reach the Final Game in this tournament. The world will know the answer on Friday.

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Round of 16: Brazil beat Chile 3-0 and aim for the title

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Dunga's team has been critiziced for not showing the "jogo bonito" (beautiful game) that is traditionaly linked to Brazil. But at the Ellis Park Stadium, the "canarinha" displayed their best arguments to win 3-0 and prove to be the strongest candidate to win the World Cup 2010.

The first goal was scored by Juan after a corner kick, and only four minutes later striker Luis Fabiano would score the second one. After this, Chile desperately tried to move their lines ahead but could never find the ball. The extremely talented midfielders that Dunga put on the pitch - notice big names like Kaka, Robinho or Dani Alves - completely dominated the game.

Bielsa's efforts to change the destiny of his team were futile. Valdivia, Rodrigo Tello and Millar entered in the second half to help Chile score at least one goal, but it never happened.

The last brazilian goal was scored by Robinho, and that was it. Chile is the only South American team eliminated of the tournament, and Brazil advanced to quarterfinals of the Cup.

Dunga's squad will face the Netherlands, a really dangerous team that will use excellent footballers such as Arjen Robben, Van Persie and Sneijder. The orange side is just as talented, and that promise to be one of the best games of South Africa 2010.

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Round of 16: Argentina beat Mexico... again

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It was the perfect opportunity for Mexico to take revenge on Argentina for their last encounter in Germany 2006, but South Africa 2010 would have just the same exit door for Aguirre's team. Argentina defeated Mexico 3-1 with two goals of Carlos Tevez and another one scored by Real Madrid's Gonzalo HiguaĆ­n.

It was a cold night at the Soccer City Stadium, and the referee made the first mistake of the night by validating Tevez's goal in offside. But defender Ricardo Osorio's mistake was just as big, when he lost the ball and let Higuain score the second for Argentina.

The third goal of Maradona's side was netted with a superb shot blasted by Carlos Tevez, who had his best World Cup match in his career. Mexico found their only goal thanks to young Hernandez, but that would not change the destiny for the "Tri".

Argentina will have and even harder exam now against Germany, who has excellent players such as Klose, Ozil, Schweinsteiger or Muller, to name a few. But if Messi is inspired, they have great chances to advance to semifinals.

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