Villa scores late to give Spain 1-0 win over Paraguay

David Villa of Spain celebrates after he scores his side's first goal with team mate Francesc Fabregas during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Paraguay and Spain.

JOHANNESBURG—David Villa scored in the 83rd minute Saturday to give Spain a 1-0 win over Paraguay and its first ever berth in the World Cup semifinals.

The ball fell to Villa in the area after substitute Pedro Rodriguez hit the post. The Spain striker took one touch before curling a shot that hit both posts before going in.

Villa’s tournament-leading fifth goal set up a semifinal match against Germany in Durban on Wednesday.

Paraguay’s defence mostly kept Spain’s vaunted attack at bay, and both teams’ best chance to win in normal time came from the penalty spot.

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas saved a 59th-minute kick by Oscar Cardozo. Paraguay captain Justo Villar matched him two minutes later, but only after referee Carlos Batres made Xabi Alonso retake an initially successful kick because of encroachment by several teammates.

Substitute Cesc Fabregas was brought down by Villar as he pushed the rebound past the goalkeeper, but Batres waved away appeals for another penalty.

Paraguay almost equalized in the 89th as Casillas stopped a shot by Lucas Barrios before punching away Roque Santa Cruz’s attempt from the rebound. Villa then had a chance to make it 2-0 at the other end after a breakaway but couldn’t convert.

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