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World Cup 2010 - Santa Cruz bows out

Like Carlos Tevez earlier in the day, yesterday was to be the final action for Roque Santa Cruz as Paraguay were hit by a late David Villa strike that ended Paraguay's hopes of progressing to the semi-finals as Spain won out by a 1-0 margin.

After a tense and disjoined first half, the second half sprang to life in a madcap three minutes of action that saw Paraguay awarded a penalty which Casillas saved, and then Spain break swiftly and saw themselves given a spot ick after David Villa was fouled.

Xabi Alonso scored the from the spot, but because of encroachment it was ordered to be re-taken, and Alonso subsequently missed.

Spain had the ascendancy though, the introduction of Fabregas for the out of sorts Torres sparking them into life and by the time Villa put them ahead, they looked the most likely to score.

After starting three consecutive games, Roque Santa Cruz was left on the bench as Paraguay rang the changes in a bid to shake up an attack that had been barren for the most part. They did look far livelier throughout, and arguably their best chance (penalty aside) fell to Santa Cruz late on after he had been introduced, but Casillas recovered well to save his follow up effort.

Although there have been question marks over Santa Cruz's fitness and his ability to fully train, the hope is that he can get back to the club and pre-season in good shape and make an impression on Roberto Mancini.

New signing David Silva again started on the bench and was not introduced.