Sunday, June 20, 2010

Japan fights but Oranje wins..

Group E, 11:30 GMT, June 19, 2010
Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa

1 - 0

Wesley Sneijder's second-half goal handed Holland a narrow win over Japan in their second Group E match and put the Oranje within reach of the last 16 of the World Cup.

Scoring Summary

Wesley Sneijder (53') 

Man of the Match: Wesley Sneijder


  • Man of the Match: Wesley Sneijder - In a game that was largely bereft of excitement, Sneijder produced the stand-out moment as his vicious effort proved too much for Eiji Kawashima. The Inter Milan playmaker was his usual cultured self in possession and worked hard for his team in an unspectacular game.

  • Netherlands verdict: The World Cup is still waiting for the Oranje to bloom. Having beaten Denmark 2-0 in their opening game, Bert van Marwijk's side took a significant step towards qualification and should now top the group, but they are steady rather than spectacular. This was not a convincing performance from the country that brought us Total Football.

  • Japan verdict: Japan were widely expected to struggle at the World Cup following an abysmal build-up to the finals, but they have hardly disgraced themselves so far. A 1-0 win in their opening game against Cameroon means this defeat can be swiftly forgotten, but Okada's side were not overwhelmed against superior opposition and defended resolutely for much of the game. In Honda, Hasebe and Matsui they also have talent in attack and could have snatched a late equaliser.

  • Could do better: Eiji Kawashima - Sneijder executed his shot well but the Japan goalkeeper should have saved the effort. Instead, the ball squirmed in off his left glove. Kawashima denied Afellay late on with a fine stop but his mistake cost his side a point.

  • Stat attack: Netherlands have won all nine of their competitive games in which Sneijder has scored.

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