History doesn’t favour a Japan win today and in the 12 previous Asia v South America World Cup Finals meetings only North Korea in 1966 and South Korea in 1994 have avoided defeat, both managing draws.
Japan are one of the surprises of the tournament having come through a fairly tough group thanks to wins over Cameroon and Denmark. However neither of these opponents looked anywhere like their best and it is hard to gague what Japan are capable of. Paraguay on the other hand have looked good in qualifying and although you can point to Italy’s below par performance in the finals it would be harsh to take too much away from the South Americans who have played neat, compact football. They brushed Slovakia aside with considerable ease and although they only drew with New Zealand they new what they needed that day and duly got it.
A repeat of their Slovakia performance should see them ease into the last eight for the 1st time in the countries history.