There are some numbers we can look at though. Since the penalty-shoot-out was introduced in the World Cup in 1982, it has been the eliminator twenty times. The team that shoots the first has won 60% of the time and 30% penalties has been missed out of 186 taken. Most memorable is perhaps the World Cups that have been decided by penalties: in the finals between Brazil-Italy in 1994, a game where “nothing happened until the penalty kicks” and most recently when Italy clinched the trophy after their 5-3 penalty win against France.
Today it was a game before the penalties. But that is how cruel and merciless football is, that after the game people barely remember the action sequences, the almost-goal-moments, marvelous runs, performances, kicks, tackles, and remember only who won. Who missed. And who saved. The latter never happened today as we saw 7 perfectly executed penalty kicks. Schoolbook examples of excellence. One hit the crossbar.
Japan out, Paraguay to the quarterfinals where they will face winner of Portugal-Spain.