Thursday, June 24, 2010

Japan defeat Denmark 3-1 to go through with the Netherlands

Both Japan and the Netherlands go through out of group E, while the Netherlands won all their games comfortably, Japan also beat Denmark with ease to advance.

Here's how Group E stands:

Netherlands   (9)
Japan             (6)
Denmark       (3)
Cameroon     (0)

Japan's Keisuke Honda (R) scores a goal against Denmark during the 2010 World Cup Group E soccer match at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg June 24, 2010.      REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Kaisuke Honda taking the blazing free kick
Denmark - Japan

A game which Denmark needed to win, and Japan needed to draw, in the end Denmark were just overpowered by Japan's fitness and speed. Right from the beginning Japan were dangerous with plenty of goal-scoring chances which weren't tucked away, but they eventually found the breakthrough in the 17th minute. Kaisuke Honda whacks a swerving free kick from way out of the penalty box which fools Sorensen for Japan's first goal of the match. Things got worse in the 30th minute when Endo swung in the perfect free kick from a closer range to put Japan two up.

Finally Denmark began to click in the second half, they didn't click very well, but they began to play better than before. In the 81st they were given a penalty because of a push on Daniel Agger in the box, Tomasson had it saved and luckily tucked away the rebound. But Denmark were without spirit or fight, both Bendtner and Tomasson were limping around not doing much, and when Japan scored their third, it was truly over. Honda with some neat footwork was 1 on 1 with Sorensen, then the CSKA Moscow player squared it to Okazaki who followed through to make the final score-line 3-1.

Netherlands' Robin van Persie scores a goal during a 2010 World Cup Group E soccer match against Cameroon at Green Point stadium in Cape Town June 24, 2010. REUTERS/Oleg Popov (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Robin van Persie with the finish for the first goal
Cameroon - Netherlands

With Cameroon mathematically out, and the Netherlands mathematically in, this game wasn't the most exciting. The Dutch grabbed a goal early on with Van Persie playing a neat one-two with Van der Vaart to then finish through Hamidou's legs. The Netherlands created other opportunities but didn't put any away until later on. Cameroon also were relatively stifled until the 65th when they found the equalizer.

Van der Vaart's hand was hit in the area from a Cameroon free kick causing a penalty against the Netherlands, Eto'o stepped up to take it and smashed it into the back of the net giving Stekelenburg no chance. Then it was substitute Robben who created the winner, a wicked shot hitting the post which had the rebound tapped in from Huntelaar. Netherlands get 9 points out of 9 while Cameroon don't pick up a positive result this tournament.

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