For those of you who aren’t eating, sleeping, and breathing the World Cup, Paraguay advanced to the next level!!! And as the Paraguayans say, “Como sufrimos!” (How we suffered!) The normally 90-minute game against Japan went into overtime – two additional 15-minute halves to resolve the non-scoring game. While it seemed neither team would be able to so much as lift another limb to move forward, and their obvious exhaustion was draining even the fans, the game continue on into a second overtime, a Penalty Kick Showdown. By this point, desperation was high, as were emotions as each team wished their goalie the best of luck with words of inspiration and hugs all around. One shot for Paraguay and he scored! Screams were heard throughout the neighborhood, and quickly evaporated as Japan’s luck seemed to be running equally high. Talk about may the best team win, both teams seemed so evenly matched and so desperate to win. It was all a matter of one Japanese kicker missing the goal, (HOW DO YOU MISS THE GOAL??) And Paraguay triumphed!
We drove out into the street almost immediately after the win to see the entire city erupting on the streets. People were driving around, waving flags, honking horns, singing, screaming, lighting fireworks, and even shooting off a few guns into the air. Video footage of the downtown showed mobs of people singing and chanting “Paraguay! Paraguay! Paraguay!” Given that this is the farthest that Paraguay has ever made it in El Mundial, we are watching history in the making. And this is why I carry a flag: