20.6.10

world cup 2010 – day 9: netherlands qualify, ghana leads group, cameroon out

1250628_full-lnd The first match of Day 9 was between Netherlands and Japan in the Durban Stadium. The Oranje shared the lead of Group E with Japan after both teams won their opening matches against Denmar and Cameroon respectively. The Dutch controlled the match, with Japan seemingly content with putting 10 men behind the ball. But they were still dangerous on the counter, as Daisuke Matsui’s effort proved seven minutes from the break. After the break, the Dutch showed more purpose and as pressure began to mount. The goal came in the 53rd minute, when Wesley Sneijder, who had been threatening throughout the game, unleashed an unstoppable shot towards the Japanese goal. Eiji Kawashima had a hand, or a palm to the ball, but to his horror, the ball deflected horribly into his own net. The score remained till the end. The Netherlands now have a maximum 6 points from 6, and up until that point look the favourites to qualify, depending on the Cameroon-Denmark match, which would played later in Day 9. Japan meanwhile had to pick up the pieces, and improve against Denmark to ensure they qualify for the next round. Applause

1250874_full-lnd The next match was from Group D between Ghana and Australia in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Ghana would want to take control of the Group, after Germany’s lost to Serbia the day before, while Australia are looking to bounce back from their disastrous 4-0 reverse against the Germans in their opening encounter. Australia brought in Harry Kewell, for the suspended Tim Cahill. Both teams started nervously, but Australia drew first blood in the 11th minute, when Mark Bresciano’s powerful effort from a free-kick was only parried by Richard Kingson. Brett Holman, who was a the right place at the right time, didn’t waste the chance and scored from the rebound. kewell-harry100619gettyHowever, parity was restored in the 25th minute, after Ghana was awarded a penalty, when Harry Kewell was adjudged to have handled a goal-bound shot by Jonathan Mensah.  Kewell was sent-off as a result Confused, and Asamoah Gyan duly converted the penalty. This was a blow for Australia, who looked like being able to take all 3 points, but now were down to 10-man. But the match remained balanced, despite Australia’s numerical disadvantage. Both teams had the chance to win the match, but all efforts either went wide, or saved by their goalkeepers. In the end, both teams shared the spoils, and Ghana, with the draw, leads the standings with 4 points.

dennisrommedahlgoaldenmarkvcameroon20100619_576x324 The last match was between Cameroon and Denmark at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria. Both teams needed to pick up from their bad starts. Cameroon were on top in the early stages, and it showed when they took the lead in the 10th minute. Danish defender, Christian Poulsen carelessly passed the ball right into the path of Pierre Webo, whose eventual cross found Samuel Eto’o, who scored the goal. Denmark however did not let themselves down, and continued to apply the pressure on Cameroon. It paid off when in the 33rd minute, Nicklas Bendtner slotted home from a Dennis Rommedahl cross across the Cameroon goal. The match was in general balanced, and thrilling, with both teams had the chance to score the winner in before half-time. The second half was very much the same, with chances at both ends. However, it was Denmark who took the initiative, when Rommedahl added to his earlier assist, an exquisite goal in the 61st minute, a left footer, which curled into Hamidou Souleymanou’s right. The score remained, condemning the Indomitable Lions to the first casualty Sigh of the World Cup 2010, while Denmark will have to fight it out with Japan for their own qualification, accompanying the Netherlands into the next round.

June 19
Group D
GHA 1 AUS 1

Group E
NED 1 JPN 0
CAM 1 DEN 2

Group D Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Ghana 2 1 1 0 2 1 4
Germany 2 1 0 1 4 1 3
Serbia 2 1 0 1 1 1 3
Australia 2 0 1 1 1 5 1

Group E Standings

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

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