Sabtu, 19 Juni 2010

Group E: Dutch win once more; the Danes are back

In Group E the winners and losers face each other.

(to be updated after the second game)

Netherlands 1-0 (0-0) Japan
Goals: 1-0 Wesley Sneijder (53').

The Netherlands overcame Japan with a lone goal win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to record their second win in their Group E to nearly ensure their progress from the group.

The Netherlands started fresh into their game with a free kick chance to Wesley Sneijder in the 9th minute and a Dirk Kuyt bicycle kick a minute later. But that was it for the Oranjes who thereafter found it hard to penetrate the Japanese defence. The Dutch had over 70% of ball possession, but still Japan did have their moments where they combined nicely and the trio upfront of Honda, Matsui and Okobu caused some problems for the Dutch defence though their finishing was weak.

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk seemed to have found the right words at half time as the Oranjes were much more active at the beginning of the second half. The Dutch would take the lead in the 53rd minute when a Wesley Sneijder shot could not be cleared by Eiji Kawashima in the Japan goal, he actually allowed the ball to go in. The Dutch now pulled back and allowed the Asians to combine, but their finishing let them down as only one real chance really threatened the Dutch. Towards the end Japan opened their defence to get the elusive equaliser, which gave the Oranjes the chance to enhance their lead through counter attacks, but their finishing wasn't to the mark either.

Cameroon 1-1 (1-2) Denmark
Goals: 1-0 Samuel Eto'o (10'), 1-1 Nicklas Bendtner (33'), 1-2 Dennis Rommedahl (61').

Denmark beat Cameroon 2-1 in a thrilling game at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria which could have ended with four, five goals on both sides. With the win Denmark kept their chances to move on alive, while Cameroon are out of the tournament.

Cameroon's coach Paul le Guen made some changes to his starting eleven after criticism of using too many young players in the first game. The French coach brought on some of the more experienced players and it seemed to work for the Lions as they put pressure on Denmark initially who seemed to be not on the pitch. And then Christian Poulsen played a square pass to Cameroon's Webo under no pressure and he finds his captain Samuel Eto'o and the Inter Milan striker makes no mistake to put Cameroon ahead in the 11th minute. Cameroon push for a second goal, but the longer the match lasts the more Denmark fight their way back into the game. And in the 33rd minute Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner finishes a great Danish move. It starts with a 50 metre long diagonal cross from Simon Kaejr which Dennis Rommedahl takes forward and he plays a square pass into the middle which Bendtner pushes in. Thereafter it is an open game with chances on both sides. First Tomasson for Denmark, then Eto'o and Emana for Cameroon could have given their sides a 2-1 half time lead.

Cameroon again have the better start into the half but Denmark was more alert now though both sides still committed too many defensive mistakes enabling the other side to have chances. In the 61st minute first Cameroon miss a golden opportunity, while Denmark score of the counter attack. A strong Dennis Rommedahl beats Makoun and places the ball into the Cameroon net past Souleymanou. Thereafter the open game continued as Cameroon were on the lookout for the equaliser to stay in the tournament, while Denmark had chances to seal the game. But chances on both sides were wasted as the game ended 2-1 for Denmark, who now have a final against Japan as the Danes would have to win to move on.

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