BBC Sport world-cup-2010


Denmark 1-3 Japan

By Sam Lyon
  1. 17:45 Commentary  
  2. 17:47 Commentary  

    Sorry, I'm just catching my breath. What a game that was at Ellis Park. Italy, defending champions and second most successful World Cup nation ever, are out of the World Cup following a sensational match against Slovakia that involved five goals, one shot off the line, one disallowed goal, 30 shots, seven bookings and a flood of Azzurri tears. It more than made up for a borefest between group winners Paraguay and New Zealand right? And you know what? We're only halfway though the day's match action. Man I love the World Cup. Please don't ever end.

  3. 17:51 Commentary  

    So - this is where you good people swoop in and get the chat buzzing nicely again, if that's OK? Text me on 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), whack me a Tweet @sampatricklyon, or step through the doors of 606 and let yourself be heard. Nice.

  4. Twitter  

    From Penayat: "With all the powerhouses in world football going out, England are in with a huge chance to win the whole thing!!"
    I'm going to take massive leap and suggest this will provoke some replies. I'm a little bit wey, a little bit woh like that.

  5. 17:57 Commentary  

    So Italy join France - the two finalists in 2006 - in making the most ignominous of exits from South Africa. Anyone see that coming? Nope, didn't think so. Now we look forward to tonight's match action - the Netherlands against Cameroon and Denmark versus Japan. Any chance of one or both of those matches living up to the magic of the Ellis Park Stunner?

  6. SMS  

    From Ben, Manchester: "My fiance is Danish so nerves continue to jangle ahead of their must-win game tonight! I reckon the experience in their squad will see them right - and if they get through I fancy them against Paraguay too!"

  7. 18:03 Commentary  

    A last (maybe) word on that Italian exit of earlier this afternoon - coach Marcelo Lippi might not have covered himself in glory by failing to shake his Slovakian counterpart's hand after the match, but he has been very dignified in front of the media at least. "I take all responsibility, all responsibility for what happened," he said. "If a team turns up at such an important game like tonight with terror in their heart and their legs, and is unable to express its ability, it's because the coach didn't train the team." Fair play.

  8. SMS  

    From Chris from mk: "If Japan ever throw off the shackles and start expressing themselves, they would be very dangerous. As it is, they are only a team of mild peril. They have so much going for them - they're quick, technical, organised, good at the back - but they seem to be crippled by fear and inferiority complex. Come on, go for it."

  9. 18:11 Commentary GROUP E - AS IT STANDS  

    Right, things are relatively simple tonight. Cameroon are out, that's that for them, while their opponents the Netherlands are definitely through - though they need a point to guarantee their progress as group winners. Denmark-Japan is where it's at - whichever team wins goes through, though a draw is enough for Japan to qualify for the last 16 at the Danes' expense. Like I said, erm, simple.

  10. 18:16 Commentary  

    And while we're on the qualifying permutations, it's worth reminding ourselves that the winner of Group E (most likely the Netherlands) face Italy-conquerors Slovakia in the last 16, with the runners-up (Japan or Denmark) facing Paraguay.

  11. 18:21 Commentary Denmark v Japan teams  

    Denmark: 1-Thomas Sorensen; 15-Simon Poulsen, 4-Daniel Agger, 13-Per Kroldrup, 6-Lars Jacobsen, 19-Dennis Rommedahl, 2-Christian Poulsen, 10-Martin Jorgensen, 12-Thomas Kahlenberg, 9-Jon Dahl Tomasson, 11-Nicklas Bendtner.
    Japan: 21-Eiji Kawashima; 2-Yuki Abe, 22-Yuji Nakazawa, 4-Tulio, 3-Yuichi Komano, 5-Yuto Nagatomo, 16-Yoshito Okubo, 7-Yasuhito Endo, 17-Makoto Hasebe, 8-Daisuke Matsui, 18-Keisuke Honda.
    Referee: Jerome Damon (South Africa)

  12. 18:24 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands teams  

    Cameroon: 16-Hamidou Souleymanou; 19-Stephane Mbia, 7-Landry Nguemo, 3-Nicolas Nkoulou, 2-Benoit Assou-Ekotto, 8-Geremi, 11-Jean Makoun, 6-Alexandre Song, 9-Samuel Eto'o, 13-Eric Choupo-Moting, 12-Gaetan Bong.
    Netherlands: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 12-Khalid Boulahrouz, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen, 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst; 7-Dirk Kuyt, 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 8-Nigel de Jong, 23-Rafael van der Vaart; 9-Robin van Persie.
    Referee: Pablo Pozo (Chile)

  13. 606  

    From eirebilly: "Living here in Holland is amazing at times. The place is incredibly Orange right now (not my favourite colour) and the Vuvuzelas are ringing out. You would think Holland will be playing soon...!"

  14. Twitter  

    From happeanyanko: "I am twitting from Japan. I have just watched the match Italy v Slovakia. I was stunned at the result. It might happen again."

  15. 18:34 Commentary  

    Following Jonathan Stevenson's 24 June chat from Infostrada earlier, I've decided to delve even deeper into this day of days. As Stevo pointed out - in the World Cup's 80-year history, the most penalties have been awarded on 24 June (13 in total). Well, check this - Denmark have twice played championship matches on 24 June - and lost them both (to Spain in 1984 and France in 1998). The Netherlands, meanwhile, are on a five-match unbeaten run on a Thursday. I know, stat chat don't get better than that.

  16. 18:37 Commentary  

    By the way, while you let that stat chat swim around your pallet, the briefest of brief team news lines ahead of tomorrow's bumper Brazil-Portugal clash - Portuguese playmaker Deco is ruled out of that match with a hip injury. What a cracking game that promises to be. I cannae wait captain.

  17. 18:41 Commentary Denmark v Japan team news  

    So, striker Nicklas Bendtner is passed fit to lead the line for Denmark for the third straight game after undergoing a special training regime to treat a lingering groin injury. Per Koldrup replaces the suspended Simon Kjaer in defence, meanwhile, and Thomas Kahlenberg comes in for Jesper Gronkjaer. Japan coach Takeshi Okada names an unchanged lineup for the third straight game.

  18. Twitter  

    From vinciperosaka: "I fear that Japan will try to defend for 90 minutes and end up conceding a silly goal that will see them heading home."

  19. 18:49 Commentary  

    Now then, is it me or have the Netherlands flown under the radar a touch in the lead-up and early stages of this World Cup? Unbeaten in a national record 21 matches in all competitions, winning all six matches in 2010, they are THE in-form team at the tournament. Their last 10 competitive games, including in South Africa? Yep - 10 straight wins - a run that takes us back to Euro 2008. Keep that run going today, and they face a last 16 tie against Slovakia. And Arjen Robben should be back from injury by then. Oranje the team to beat?

  20. 18:52 Commentary  

    Cameroon, meanwhile, are looking to avoid losing all three group matches at a World Cup for the first time. Unfortunately for them, they have lost their last four internationals, are winless in their last nine since beating Zambia at the African Cup of Nations, and are probably due a red card having had a man sent off in each of the last four World Cups. Ouch.

  21. 18:57 Commentary  

    Denmark-Japan - undoubtedly the game of the evening if you ask me - meanwhile, may promise tension... but I'm not sure it promises goals. Denmark have failed to score in three of their last four internationals - not helped by a 15-match goal drought for Jon Dahl Tomasson - while Japan, on a run of five defeats in six games, have failed to score in six of their last 12 internationals. We all know what that means - goalfest. Bosh.

  22. SMS  

    From Terry in Copenhagen: "Denmark is ready. Vuvuzelas and red and white flags all along the specially-made artificial beach. Come on Denmark!"

  23. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    Cape Town Stadium is far from full at the moment but most of the fans that are here are wearing one colour - orange. The team they have come to see - the Netherlands - have just emerged for their pre-match warm-up with Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk making one change for this game from the team that has already beaten Denmark and Japan, with Khalid Bhoulahrouz replacing Gregory van der Wiel at right-back. Arjen Robben continues to wait for his first appearance of the 2010 World Cup. Cameroon, with nothing but pride to play for, bring in Gaeten Bong, Jean Makoun and Landry Nguemo for Achille Emana and the injured Eyong Enoh in a reshuffled midfield, while Eric Choupo-Moting replaces Pierre Webo up front and defender Sebastian Bassong drops to the bench.

  24. Twitter  

    From InfostradaLive: "Just a reminder, no European team has ever won the World Cup outside of Europe."

  25. 19:09 Commentary  

    Players walking the suspension tightrope tonight, by the way, are Denmark's Thomas Sorensen, Japan's Yuki Abe, and three for the Netherlands - Gregory van der Wiel, Nigel de Jong and Robin van Persie. A yellow card for any of them and they miss the last 16 matches, should their team get there. After the last 16, there is a yellow card amnesty, lest we forget.

  26. Twitter  

    From NukeSpoon: "Another reminder, nobody's ever won the World Cup in Africa."

  27. Commentary Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk  

    "I think it's an important game against Cameroon because, although we're through to the next round, the issue is in this tournament you should never let your guard down and that is the case here."

  28. Commentary Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen  

    "It's a very good Dutch team with many, many very talented players. They are used to playing big games for big clubs in big stadiums. They are one of the favourites for the tournament and it will be tough, but we will fight to defend our honour."

  29. Commentary Denmark coach Morten Olsen  

    "We have ambitions and I think that's fair... and we know that Japan has its own ambitions. Here we have two teams that have good qualities, who are perhaps not amongst the favourites for the World Cup. But these are two teams that if they use their full potential, then we can have a fair match against big teams as well."

  30. Commentary Japan coach Takeshi Okada  

    "I am not considering if we lose. I am thinking only about winning. In our meeting (on Wednesday), I did tell the players that we should not think about any draw. This means that we have to score. So from the beginning we will start out with the intention of winning."

  31. Twitter  

    From ajmy: "With Italy and France both crashing out of the contest so far, this World Cup might be the end of the Old World Order."
    Step up the Netherlands, Denmark or Japan?

  32. 19:21 Commentary  

    The players are in the tunnel in Rustenburg and Cape Town and we're moments away from the anthems and then kick-off. A reminder: in a nutshell - a draw is enough for Netherlands to top the group, as it is for Japan to finish second, Denmark have to win. I'll keep you updated.

  33. 19:26 Commentary  

    Stop. Anthem time.

  34. Twitter  

    From sivaram91: "All but four outfield Japanese players play locally; only five outfield Danes play in Denmark. Food for thought?"

  35. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "More than 30,000 Dutch fans are expected here tonight including thousands of expats who, like most of the neutrals present, will be hoping Bert van Marwijk’s side add a touch of flair to their some-what functional (if winning) performances so far at this World Cup. However, I fear the shackles might not come off (and Arjen Robben might not come on) until they have made sure of progressing as group winners. Cameroon? They have a lot to prove but nothing to play for in what could be coach Paul Le Guen’s final game in charge. Hopefully, they will try to bow out with a bang, not a whimper."

  36. 19:30 KICK-OFF Cameroon v Netherlands  

    We're under way in Cape Town. Efficient.

  37. 19:30 KICK-OFF Denmark v Japan  

    And after referee Jerome Damon breaks up a lengthy Japan huddle, we are started in Rustenburg as well.

  38. 19:33 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Denmark, looking to reach the second round for the fourth time in their fourth World Cup, have the first effort of note in Rustenburg, as Simon Poulsen slaps a lazy effort way over the bar.

  39. 19:35 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    As you might expect, things are quite open over in Cape Town and after Cameroon's Ched Jou forces Maarten Stekelenburg into an easy save from range low down, Rafael van der Vaart screws one wide from 20 yards out at the other.

  40. 19:37 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Simon Poulsen has looked very bright for Denmark down the left-hand side early on, and this time his deflected cross just evades the swinging leg of Jon Dahl Tomasson. It's a corner... but Per Kroldrup can only deflect his volley wide at the back post. Encouraging for the Danes.

  41. 19:40 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Surprisingly, it's Cameroon spraying the passes around early doors in Cape Town and not Netherlands. No clear chances for either side as yet, though.

  42. 19:41 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Headed chance for Cameroon midfielder Jean Makoun from Benoit Assou-Ekotto's fine cross - but he sends it glancing wide. Should've done better.

  43. 19:42 YELLOW CARD Denmark v Japan  

    Yasuhito Endo, believe it or not, is booked for time-wasting. We're 11 minutes into the game. That tells you the kind of ambition they're showing.

  44. 19:43 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    And just as I say that - Japan create two fine chances. First Yoshito Okubo's cross is steered goalwards by Daisuke Matsui, stopped by the legs of Thomas Sorensen in the Denmark goal, and then Makoto Hasebe gets clear of the defence only to blaze wide. Out of nothing, Japan spring into life.

  45. 19:44 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Denmark bounce up the other end and it falls to Jon Dahl Tomasson, but the striker pings his effort from the angle across goal and inches wide.

  46. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "The Dutch fans may have taken over the stadium but there’s still a lot of support for Cameroon too. Dozens of people sat to my right are wearing South Africa shirts but cheering on their fellow African nation... who have made a lively start to the game – the Netherlands on the back foot so far."

  47. 19:47 YELLOW CARD Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Netherlands midfielder Dirk Kuyt goes into the book for a late challenge on a Cameroon defender.

  48. 19:47 GOAL Denmark 0-1 Japan  

    Cristiano Ronaldo eat your heart out. Keisuke Honda lines up a free-kick near the right touchline 30 yards out - and proceeds to spank it over the wall, dipping into the far corner. Outstanding.

  49. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby Denmark v Japan  

    "The goalkeeper has got to do better from that distance. You do not score from there."

  50. 19:50 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Giovani van Bronkhorst finds Robin van Persie in the box, 14 yards out front and centre, but the Arsenal man sends his shot straight at the keeper. Waste.

  51. 19:51 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    I tell you what - Japan may have started slowly, but they are bang in the driving seat in both this match and the running for qualifying now. By the way - they have won all five matches in which Keisuke Honda has scored, keeping a clean sheet in all of them. Denmark, who need a win, have to step up now.

  52. 19:52 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    A delightful Christian Poulsen ball over the top looks like finding Jon Dahl Tomasson, but the out-of-form striker can barely make the right contact and the chance goes.

  53. 19:54 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Over in Cape Town, Wesley Schneider works some space in the Cameroon box only to see his shot blocked - the Dutch playmaker claims handball, but that's optimistic.

  54. Commentary GROUP E - AS IT STANDS  

    No change in who is going through: the Dutch will progress as winners (to play Slovakia) and Japan will qualify in second place and face Paraguay.

  55. 19:56 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Netherlands free-kick, 25 yards out, but Rafael van der Vaart's curled effort is easily held by keeper Souleymanou Hamidou.

  56. 19:57 YELLOW CARD Denmark v Japan  

    A second booking for Japan, and a second one for time-wasting. This time it's Yuto Nagatomo whose name is taken.

  57. 19:59 YELLOW CARD Denmark v Japan  

    Per Kroldrup goes into referee Jerome Damon's ever-expanding book of yellow cards for a trip on Yoshito Okubo 25 yards out. Another Keisute Honda wonder-strike from the resulting free-kick...?

  58. 20:00 GOAL Denmark 0-2 Japan  

    ...nope, instead it's Yasuhito Endo. A more traditional strike this time, curled right-footed round the wall and into the corner. Simples.

  59. 20:02 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    A chance at either end in Cape Town, as Jean Makoun heads Geremi's cross over under pressure from Maarten Stekelenburg, before Dirk Kuyt's angled shot across goal at the other end drifts past the far post.

  60. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby Denmark v Japan  

    "Denmark are still going to see lots of the ball and their heads won't drop - they just need one before half-time."

  61. 20:05 SUBSTITUTION Denmark v Japan  

    Early change for Denmark, with coach Morten Olsen mindful of the fact his team need three goals - at least - now, and it's Jakob Poulsen, a midfielder, coming on for striker Martin Jorgensen. Interesting.

  62. 20:06 GOAL Cameroon 0-1 Netherlands  

    Deadlock broken. Robin van Persie plays a lovely one-two with Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the Cameroon box and then skids a neat finish under the keeper from the angle to open the scoring. That's his first goal of the tournament too.

  63. Commentary GROUP E - AS IT STANDS  

    No change. The Dutch go through as group winners and the only European team to win all three group games. Japan join them as runners up.

  64. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown Denmark v Japan  

    "Robin van Persie has scored for the Netherlands - and now Denmark need the same from his Arsenal team-mate Nicklas Bendtner. Is he out there though? I haven't seen him all game."

  65. 20:10 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Half a chance for Cameroon as they look to reply, but Samuel Eto'o can't collect Geremi's cross on the chest in the box and the ball rolls harmlessly to keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Geremi has been excellent for the Lions.

  66. 20:14 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Japan are tearing strips off Denmark now, looking dangerous every time they break into the opposition half. Something needs to change and change quickly for the Danes... but on this evidence, Japan are storming into the last 16. Christian Poulsen has one from range - about 35 yards - easily saved, and that sort of thing just isn't going to be enough.

  67. 20:14 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Like I said... it is Yuichi Komano breaking into the Danes' box this time and his rising effort is tipped over by Thomas Sorensen. Japan invigorated.

  68. Twitter  

    From gentblue: "Japan are the new Brazil!"

  69. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "The signs had been there before the Dutch took the lead – they seemed to have been cranking up the gears as this half progressed and were creating chances with ominous regularity. Let’s hope that Robin van Persie goal means coach Bert van Marwijk allows his side more freedom to express themselves, although this Cameroon side is showing no sign of lying down just yet."

  70. 20:17 HALF-TIME Cameroon 0-1 Netherlands  

    Cameroon have had their half chances, but the Netherlands' one piece of magic in the opposition box is the difference at the break. Oranje on course for a third win out of three.

  71. 20:18 HALF-TIME Denmark 0-2 Japan  

    Head-scratching time for Denmark boss Morten Olsen, because his side are being torn apart by a Japan side full of verve, pace and incision. Impressive.

  72. Contributor BBC Sport's Harry Redknapp Denmark v Japan  

    "I don't think this is all over just yet, the next goal is crucial. If it goes to Denmark I can see them coming back to draw at least. Maybe Nicklas Bendtner - who claims to be the best striker in the world - can turn up and stake a claim to at least be the best striker on the pitch."

  73. SMS  

    From Colin, Gateshead: "I'm not sure you've done Endo's goal justice below Sam. As I've just finished my tea, there's only one word to describe it - delicious. The goal, that is, not my tea. Although my tea was delicious also, thanks for asking."

  74. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "So far, so good, for the Dutch - who are halfway to their third win in Group E, having now scored four goals without conceding one. They have still been more efficient rather than exciting, although Rafael van der Vaart has shown some masterful touches in midfield. More to come from him and them, hopefully. Cameroon, meanwhile, have shown lots of effort and imagination coming forward but the final ball, or finish, has eluded them. Work to do here if they are to avoid finishing their World Cup with three defeats out of three."

  75. 606  

    From Mystiroakey: "The BBC pundits are totally correct about that first Japan goal - the goalie Thomas Sorensen was hiding behind the wall! He should have at least had a view of the ball then could have easily run over to the other side. Second goal was awesome though."

  76. 20:28 Commentary GROUP E - AS IT STANDS  

    It remains very much a case of as you were in Group E. The Netherlands are strolling into the last 16 with an 11th straight competitive win to set up a match against Slovakia, while Japan are looking equally comfortable in earning their progress and a second round match against Paraguay. Of course, it all could change in the next 45 minutes though... right?

  77. 20:31 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    We're back started in Cape Town.

  78. 20:32 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Denmark - with a mountain to climb - get a crucial 45 minutes for their tournament started, having been out waiting for the kick-off for five minutes already. Coach Morten Olsen clearly didn't deem them welcome in the dressing room for too long.

  79. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown Denmark v Japan  

    "Nicklas Bendtner has to get into the game here, he has to. For me, his career is passing him by."

  80. 20:35 HITS THE WOODWORK Denmark v Japan  

    Unbelievable. Yasuhito Endo sends a looping - but tame - free-kick goalwards but Thomas Sorensen in the Denmark goal somehow contrives to spill it over his head and the ball smacks off the post. Shoot-on-sight has to be the Japan policy with the Danish keeper looking this fragile.

  81. 20:37 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Mark van Bommel sends Robin van Persie screaming through the middle of the Cameroon defence with a lovely pass but the striker's firm hit is kept out by Souleymanou Hamidou. Van Persie looking increasingly into his stride with every passing minute.

  82. 20:38 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Jon Dahl Tomasson's flick looks to have fallen at Thomas Kahlenberg's feet, but the midfielder does not react quickly enough and he can only poke wide from close range.

  83. 20:39 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Best chance of the night for Denmark - Nicklas Bendtner flicking on Lars Jacobsen's ball into the box but Jon Dahl Tomasson, having taken a touch, is denied bravely at his feet by Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima.

  84. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "There are Japanese fans near me paying more attention to Japan-Denmark on journalists’ TV screens than the game going on in front of them. A shame because it has been wide open so far in this second half – both sides bringing the ball forward at every opportunity. The Dutch look particularly dangerous on the break if they can find Robin van Persie with a ball over the top."

  85. 20:42 SUBSTITUTION Denmark v Japan  

    Soren Larsen - an attacker - is on for defender Per Kroldrup. Ambition from Denmark coach Morten Olsen, and not before time.

  86. 20:44 SUBSTITUTION Cameroon v Netherlands  

    And over in Cape Town, Klass Jan Huntelaar is on for Robin van Persie, with Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk taking the chance to rest his star striker.

  87. 20:45 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Nice burst into the box from Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o but, having ghosted past a couple of players, his shot on goal is deflected behind by a desperate block from a Netherlands defender.

  88. 20:46 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Good strike from 20 yards out by Jakob Poulsen, forcing a good save on the dive by Eiji Kawashima. Denmark pressing.

  89. 20:49 Commentary Cameroon v Netherlands  

    "That's the cheekiest ball of the night" says my colleague and I make him right. Cameroon substitute Vincent Abubakar fools the entire Netherlands defence with a delightful reverse pass into the box to Jean Makoun, whose goalbound shot is kept out well low down by Maarten Stekelenburg. Abubakar - who has been on the pitch for seven minutes, has had a big impact for the Lions so far.

  90. 20:50 PENALTY to Cameroon  
  91. 20:50 GOAL Cameroon 1-1 Netherlands  

    Rafael van der Vaart raises an arm to block Geremi's free-kick in the box and Chilean referee Pablo Pozo has no hesitation in awarding the spot-kick. Samuel Eto'o steps up - and smashes it home. Even Stevens.

  92. 20:53 SUBSTITUTION Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Moments after Elijero Elia replaces Dirk Kuyt, Nigel de Jong has a good chance to turn in Rafael van der Vaart's free-kick from deep on the volley, but he shins it over.

  93. Commentary GROUP E - AS IT STANDS  

    The Dutch concede their first goal at this World Cup and Cameroon could earn their first point, but no change in who goes through: Netherlands as winners (to face Slovakia), Japan as runners up (to face Paraguay).

  94. 20:56 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    It's all Denmark in Rustenburg. Christian Eriksen - on as substitute and rated by many as the future-boy of Danish football - sends a cracking effort goalwards on the half volley, but it spears over the bar. The Danes still need three goals - and they have a little over 20 minutes in which to get them.

  95. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "Conceding a penalty was not quite what I was thinking of when I said I was hoping for more from Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart in the second half, but if you thought Cameroon were going to let their World Cup peter out, you were wrong. It’s just a shame it’s all happening a bit too late for them - but all the African fans here still want a win."

  96. 20:58 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Deary me - if Denmark had someone up top who could actually score they might actually be dangerous. Dennis Rommedahl works some space on the right and pulls it back to Jon Dahl Tomasson - unmarked - but the ball gets caught in the striker's feet and he can't even get a shot off. Shame.

  97. 20:59 SUBSTITUTION Cameroon v Netherlands  

    Big cheers in Cape Town as first Arjen Robben comes on for the Netherlands for the first time in this World Cup in place of Rafael van der Vaart, before Cameroon veteran Rigobert Song comes on for his fourth World Cup. "He looks like King Neptune" says Mark Lawrenson. Song's dyed blonde beard and hair is quite something to behold, I must admit.

  98. 21:01 SUBSTITUTION Denmark v Japan  

    Shinji Okazaki on for Daisuke Matsui - the midfielder given a rest as reward for a fine performance this evening.

  99. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "Those Dutch fans cheered that change almost as much as they did their goal - I’ve not seen too many reactions to substitutions like that one at this World Cup so far... except maybe when Joe Cole came on for England against Slovenia. Yes, Arjen Robben is on for the Netherlands at long last – fit and well? We are about to find out."

  100. SMS  

    From Anon: "Standing in a bar in Gibraltar... Japan look better than almost anyone but Argentina! What a way to stake a claim to the World Cup. Expect to see a lot of this team in Europe next year!"

  101. 21:05 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Another chance for Japan as Shinji Okazaki heads over - and the fight in this Denmark team looks well and truly spent now. There's no way they're getting three goals in 10 minutes, not against a Japan side playing this well.

  102. 21:06 HITS THE WOODWORK Denmark v Japan  

    They might not get three, Denmark, but they won't get closer to one without it going in. Soren Larson chests the ball up and swings a delightful volley onto the crossbar from 20 yards. Close.

  103. 21:07 PENALTY to Denmark  
  104. 21:08 GOAL Denmark 1-2 Japan  

    It's been 15 matches in the making, but Jon Dahl Tomasson finally bags his 52nd international goal for Denmark. Only after his spot-kick - given for a push on Daniel Agger - is saved, mind, the frontman scuffing the rebound into the corner. Just. Still not game on, though, surely?

  105. 21:09 GOAL Cameroon 1-2 Netherlands  

    Immediate impact from Arjen Robben, who cuts in from the right and fires in a 20-yard shot that rebounds off the Cameroon right-hand post. The ball falls to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who keeps his composure to slot into an empty goal.

  106. Commentary GROUP E - AS IT STANDS  

    Goals in both games but no change in how the group will end: Netherlands will be winners, Japan in second. Denmark still need two more goals to overhaul the Japanese.

  107. 21:13 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    Any Danish fans who were hoping that Jon Dahl Tomasson goal would spark a late onslaught are to be disappointed. If anything, Japan look the likelier to grab the game's fourth.

  108. 21:15 GOAL Denmark 1-3 Japan  

    I did warn you, Denmark fans. This is a game very much made at Keisuke Honda's feet, the midfielder dancing his way into the Denmark box before unselfishly laying in substitute Shinji Okazaki to roll into the empty net with the keeper stranded. The scoreline has a more representative appearance again.

  109. 21:17 INJURY TIME Cameroon v Netherlands  

    We're into injury time in Cape Town - but both sides appear to have settled for what they've got here.

  110. 21:17 SUBSTITUTION Denmark v Japan  

    Here's a familiar face - Junichi Inamoto is brought on for Japan to enjoy the four minutes of injury time awarded in Rustenburg.

  111. 21:18 FULL-TIME Cameroon 1-2 Netherlands  

    That's the full-time whistle in Cape Town and it's a deserved third win out of three for the Netherlands. They will go on to face Slovakia in the last 16 - and I dare say they will be a force to be reckoned with in the latter stages in South Africa and no mistake.

  112. 21:21 FULL-TIME Denmark 1-3 Japan  

    Impressive. Hugely impressive from Japan. They cruise into the second round on the back of a delightful performance, and Paraguay won't fancy facing them in this mood, I tell you.

  113. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Cape Town Stadium  

    "Defeat was a bit harsh on Cameroon perhaps, but Arjen Robben certainly made his mark for the Dutch and it is an ominous sign that they have won three games so far without really hitting their stride. Robben looks like he enjoyed his cameo – he is currently milking the fans’ applause – and we are sure to see a lot more of him in this World Cup."

  114. 21:25 Commentary Denmark v Japan  

    As you'd expect, contrasting scenes on the pitch in Rustenburg, Japan celebrating wildly as they make their way into the second round of a World Cup for only the second time (the first coming in 2002) - and Denmark looking understandably dejected. They can have little argument, though.

  115. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby  

    "Take nothing away from Japan, they scored two great free-kicks and killed the game off. Denmark didn’t come into the tournament with any expectation but once they got into this game, the nation expected them to win. The problem is we need some fresh players. We could be in for a barren spell. Japan are an experienced outfit. They play a lot of games together and they know they jobs. They'll give teams a tough game."

  116. SMS  

    From Rob in Whitley Bay: "Japan could go a long way in this tournament if they play like they have in their first three games, a real surprise package!"

  117. 606  

    From kebab lips: "I'm still not convinced by the Dutch - they have played well, but then they've not really been tested."

  118. 21:35 Commentary  

    So we now know 13 of our last 16 teams in South Africa: Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, USA, England, Germany, Ghana, Netherlands, Japan, Paraguay and Slovakia. More than a few surprise packages in there, no?

  119. Twitter  

    From footy_fever: "This World Cup is marking the end to Europe's dominance - the Asians are on their way... beware!!"

  120. Twitter  

    From chrisharris1975: "Wow, Japan are superb. Time for European football to take a long, hard look at itself and learn a thing or two from South America and Asia."

  121. 21:45 Commentary  

    It's left to six teams to battle it out for the final three second-round places, then. Portugal, Ivory Coast, Chile, Spain, Switzerland and (just) Honduras could all yet push into the last 16 in tomorrow's four matches - and you know what that gives us? It gives us Fantastic Four Friday (ahem). Portugal-Brazil, North Korea-Ivory Coast, Switzerland-Honduras and Chile-Spain. It rarely gets better than that. Join Jonathan Stevenson and me, Sam Lyon, for those - don't you dare miss it.

By Sam Sheringham

Japan scored two stunning first-half free-kicks to secure a well-deserved win over Denmark and set up a meeting with Paraguay in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Keisuke Honda smashed his effort into the far corner before Yasuhito Endo, who also hit a post in the second half, curled a fine strike around the wall.

Jon Dahl Tomasson, who missed several earlier chances, followed up his own penalty to pull one back for Denmark after 81 minutes.

But Honda teed up Shinji Okazaki to seal a famous victory for Japan, which ensured they finished runners-up to Netherlands in Group E and reached the second round for only the second time in their history.

It was a performance of confidence and authority from the Japanese which seemed to come from nowhere. Takeshi Okada's side had lost five of their previous six games and only scored nine goals in 12 World Cup matches.

But after a tentative start in Rustenburg, they took the game to the Danes, sparking into life with two efforts in as many minutes. First Daisuke Matsui's clever flick struck the legs of Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, and moments later Makoto Hasebe raced into the box but fired narrowly wide.

Denmark went close through Tomasson before a Japan free-kick 30 yards from goal brought about one of the goals of the tournament.

From a straight run-up, in a style reminiscent of Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, Honda smashed the ball over the wall and watched it swerve past Sorensen into the far corner.

When Japan won another free-kick shortly afterwards, the Danes were clearly expecting another piledriver from Honda, but instead they watched in horror as Endo's exquisite strike curled around the wall and past the outstretched arms of Sorensen.

While the Danish keeper's positioning could have been better in both cases, Japan's strikes were precise and superbly-executed, making a mockery of the difficulty players have been having with the much-maligned Jabulani ball.

In the space of 13 minutes, the Asian side had doubled the number of free-kick goals we had witnessed in the previous 42 matches at this tournament in South Africa.

Denmark looked stunned by the goals, while an energised Japan kept pouring forward with Endo stinging Sorensen's palms in the closing stages of the first half.

Early in the second, Japan almost scored from yet another set-piece, with Endo's floated strike from 40 yards slipping bizarrely through Sorensen's palms and striking the face of an upright.

While the Denmark keeper appeared all at sea, his opposite number Eiji Kawashima looked confident and commanding, diving at the feet of Tomasson to smother the striker's effort and pushing aside Jakob Poulsen's long-range shot.

Substitute Christian Eriksen fired narrowly over and Soren Larson volleyed against the bar before Danish pressure finally yielded a penalty in the 82nd minute when Daniel Agger was bundled over by Hasebe.

Tomasson's initial shot was easily saved by Kawashima but the ball rolled straight back to the striker, whose scuffed effort only just found the net to bring up his record-equalling 52nd goal in a Danish shirt.

Japan restored their two-goal advantage from a brisk counter attack, with Honda dancing his way into the area and committing Sorensen, before pulling the ball back for Okazaki to tap into the empty net.

Denmark Denmark Flag 1-3 Japan Flag Japan FT

(HT 0-2)

Tomasson, 81
Honda, 17
Endo, 30
Okazaki, 87






  • Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
  • Referee: Jerome Damon
  • Attendance: 27,967
Denmark     Japan
  • Possession 49%
  • Attempts on target 9
  • Attempts off target 6
  • Corners 7
  • Fouls 22

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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