26.6.10

world cup 2010 – day 14: WORLD CHAMPIONS HUMBLED! paraguay, japan and slovakia followed holland. italy, danes, cameroon, kiwis out

1257695_full-lnd Netherlands followed Argentina as the only team to maintain a hundred percent record in the tournament. They beat the already eliminated Cameroon 2-1 in the Green Point Stadium. It was a game where Arjen Robben finally made his mark in this year’s World Cup, providing the assist for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to score, after his initial shot rebounded off the post. The game was locked at 1-1 prior, after Robin Van Persie (36’) and Samuel Eto’o (Penalty 65’) scored for their countries. The win secured Oranje’s spot on top of the group. Thumbs-up

Japan and Denmark faced off in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, with a draw would suit the Japanese, while Denmark needed to win to leapfrog them in second place. It was not to be for the Danish side, as Japan showed their discipline and effectiveness as a team to win 3-1 to accompany their Asian counterpart, and fellow 2002 co-hosts, South Korea in the second round. Applause1257515_full-lnd Clinical free-kicks by Keisuke Honda (17’) and Yasuhito Endo (30’) ensured Japan to go into the break with their heads held high. The second half brought further 2 goals; one for each team, as John Dahl Tomasson scored from the spot in the 81st minute, and Shinji Okazaki in the 87th minute, sealing the win for Japan. This was a historic day for Japan, as this is their first time out of the group stage on foreign soil, and also their first time scoring 3 goals in a World Cup match.

The FIFA World Cup 2010 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons for the 2006 finalists; France and Italy. Loser On Day 12, France bowed out of the competition, while Italy’s fate was sealed on Day 14. 1257184_full-lndNeeding a win (or even a draw) against a fairly weak Slovakian side, they failed to do just that as they were beaten comprehensively 3-2 in the Ellis Park Stadium, Jo’burg.  Robert Vittek got the goals in the 25th and 73rd minute for Slovakia, while substitute Kamil Kopunek scored very late to secure the win. Antonia Di Natale (81’) and Fabio Quagliarella (92’) replied for the Azzuris. Just like France, the Italians never looked like gracing this year’s tournament with their disjointed performances and lacking the creativity to create decent chances.

Paraguay meanwhile confirmed their participation in the second round after a nil-nil draw against New Zealand in Polokwane. A significant South American contingents will make their presence felt as they followed their counterparts Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and probably Chile to fight it out for a quarter-final spot. New Zealand meanwhile had a proud and historic World Cup, only their second, after collecting their first points, an finished unbeaten in the group. Paraguay top the group, with Slovakia following closely. Big Grin

June 24
Group E
NED 2 CMR 1
JPN 3 DEN 1

Group F
PAR 0 NZL 0
ITA 2 SVK 3

Group E Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 0

Group F Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 2 1 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 2

*Teams in bold qualifies for the next round

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