Saturday, June 19, 2010

Denmark snatch comeback win against Cameroon

A great match, truly a great match full of emotion in which Denmark stay alive in their group, but Cameroon will need a miracle if they want to get out of the group.

Here's how group E stands with this result:

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

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o (L) shoots to score against Denmark during a 2010 World Cup Group E soccer match at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria June 19, 2010.    REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)Cameroon - Denmark

Almost a must win match for both of these teams, Cameroon started with Samuel Eto'o playing in a more central role with Webo, and Denmark began with Bendtner who many thought wouldn't be able to make it. Cameroon found the goal just after 10 minutes with good pressure, Poulsen's bad pass allowed Webo to cross it to Eto'o who smashed it past Sorensen.

Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner (L) celebrates scoring a goal during a 2010 World Cup Group E soccer match against Cameroon at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria June 19, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Cameroon continued to dominate the first half, and could've scored another but it was Denmark who found the equalizer with Bendtner. Kjaer launched the ball for Rommedahl to latch onto and cut across the area for Bendtner to slide in, a very well worked goal which caught Cameroon's defence with their pants down.

Then came the comedy of errors before halftime, first we saw Tomasson with no goal-keeper hit a defender instead of the open net, then at the other end Eto'o with Sorensen scrambling hit the post with a curling left foot shot. After that, Emana was 1 on 1 and he tried to chip it over Sorensen who parried well, but the rebound landed on Emana's foot as it trickled out of play. After these chances the match could've been at 3-2 for Cameroon, but somehow we went into the half at 1-1.

In the second half, we saw yet again Rommedahl being able to sneak behind the Cameroon back-line to score himself. On the edge of the area with Makoun tracking right in front of him, Rommedahl cuts into the area and curls a wonderful left foot shot past Hamidou. The rest of the second half Cameroon pressed but were unable to create anything thanks to the tough Danish defence.

The game ended 2-1 for Denmark with a great comeback, and with this result, it is impossible for Cameroon to advance to the next round as the Netherlands have booked themselves a spot in the round of 16.

Netherlands grab win and Australia draw with Ghana

Two matches which weren't as exciting as I expected them to be, especially the Netherlands match, but I look forward to seeing Cameroon play Denmark later today.

June 19, 2010 - Durban, SOUTH AFRICA - epa02211108 The Netherlands Wesley Sneijder (L) scores against Japan during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group E preliminary round match between Netherlands and Japan at the Durban stadium, Durban, South Africa, 19 June 2010.
Netherlands - Japan

In this match, the Dutch showed a bit more fire and movement than the last match they played against Denmark, we saw more movement from all the players as they kept possession like few can. Little by little we also saw Japan emerge a bit, but nothing truly substantial, Honda was isolated and had trouble with the Dutch back-line. It was quite the dead-lock in the first half, although they had the majority of the possession, the Netherlands were unable to create anything thanks to Japan's good defending all over the field.

In the second half, the Netherlands came out with more conviction, and in the 53rd, they found the goal which broke the stalemate. It was Inter Milan's star midfielder Wesley Sneijder who drove the ball at Kawashima who just couldn't hold the shot as it bounced into the back of his net.

The rest of the second half was Japan pilling on the pressure creating plenty of opportunities, but in the end, the Netherlands were able to hold them off and take another three points rather unconvincingly, but it's the results that matter.

June 19, 2010 - Rustenburg, S  dafrika - epa02211354 Australia's Harry Kewell (C) is booked with the red card by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti as his teammate Lucas Neill argues during the 2010 FIFA World Cup group D match between Ghana and Australia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, 19 June 2010.
Ghana - Australia

Things began well for Australia, they seemed very convinced and determined as they went out without their star player, Tim Cahill, because of his sending off last match against Germany. It was Harry Kewell who took Cahill's place up front, and it seemed like he had a very positive effect on the team. Australia scored in the 12th minute, Bresciano hit a free kick which Wigan's 4th goal-keeper Kingson couldn't contain, Holman followed up to give Australia the lead.

While things seemed all well for Australia, they suddenly turned into another terrible scenario in the 24th minute as Ghana had the ball in their penalty area. Then Harry Kewell who was on the Australian goal-line was hit by a shot, first on the chest and then on the arm, producing a direct red card for himself, and a penalty for Ghana.

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan (3) celebrates his goal from a penalty kick during the 2010 World Cup Group D soccer match against Australia at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg June 19, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Charisius (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)The decision was harsh, but Roberto Rosetti the prestigious Italian referee had few doubts as the Australian players pointed at the large TV screen for proof that the arm was attached to the body. It was Gyan who converted the penalty, just like he did against Serbia to give his side the equalizer.

But the second half was different than what we might've expected, instead of opportunities for Ghana, we saw opportunities for a very determined Australia. Wilkshire was unable to score 1 on 1, and Kennedy had a great chance to score from a rebound but he somehow missed the ball.

The match ended 1-1 giving both sides a bitter-tasting point.


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