World cup 2010- a very tactical japan beat cameroon, 1-0

World Cup 2010- A very Tactical Japan Beat Cameroon, 1-0

The Japanese team earned a major victory in their opening debut at the South Africa World Cup 2010, after beating Cameroon, 1-0. In a dull and somewhat close game, Japan found itself ahead 38 minutes into the first half, after a center pass by midfielder Daisuke Matsui was transformed into a goal by Keisuke Honda.

It is the first time that the Nipponese’s win a game in a World Cup besides the 2002 tournament, when as co-hosts with South Korea they got two victories and reached the second round.

In a game in which both teams’ offensive ends were mostly ineffective in the final meters of the area, Japan still managed to prevail thanks to their short game. They created fast plays that complicated the play for the Cameroonians, who were more physical but slower than the Japanese.

The game started with very few offensive opportunities for both teams. The game’s was up to a point just frankly boring, despite both teams efforts to win this important game. They now have to face both favorites the Netherlands and Denmark.

It seemed as if the first half would end goalless, but Keisuke Honda finished off a play with a great shot against the Cameroon goalkeeper, to make the score 1-0 at minute 38.

Minutes later the first half ended with a 1-0 score in favor of the Japanese.

In the second half, the Cameroon team enters determined to tie the score. However, despite its effort, the Africans could not achieve the draw. The teams were conformed to maintain the duel in the midfield with sporadic counterattacks. 

The «African Lions» sought for the draw and were supported by Samuel Eto’o, who appeared very little, but who assisted Maxim Choupo-Moting in a play with just 9 minutes to go. But Maxim failed to score.

Again Cameroon failed to score in the 86th minute of the game, when Achille Eman? kicked a powerful shot that hit the Japanese’s goal crossbar. And just in supplementary timing, the team of Cameroon launched in the attack and witnessed as the goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima avoided the shot of Pierre Webo for the draw.

With this play, the game ended with the victory for the Japanese team, 1-0.

At the end of the match, Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen, was disappointed with the performance of his team, especially because he knew they didn’t play at their best. Also Le Guen alleged that this result makes the qualification for his team a bit more complicated.

«We were too nervous in the first half. We lost many, many balls because we were nervous and that is why I am disappointed tonight. They were not playing to their best of their ability and we were not able to release our potential this evening and that is really disappointing,» said Paul Le Guen.

With this result, Japan jumped well ahead of Group E with three points, but below the first place Netherlands, who beat Denmark 2-0 and leads by goal difference.

The Asians will face the Netherlands on June 19th in Durban, while Cameroon will try to stay alive in the tournament against Denmark on June 20th in Pretoria.

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