Netherlands 1 Japan 0
Wesley Sneijder’s lone goal of the game in the 53rd minute lifted the Dutch to a 1-0 victory over the Japanese; it was the Netherlands’ second 1-0 victory in World Cup history (the first came in 2006 against Serbia & Montenegro). The win extended the Netherlands’ unbeaten streak against Asian countries to nine games (eight wins and one tie).
Sneijder scored his goal on a one-timer from teammate Robin Van Persie; Sneijder’s rocket of a shot deflected off Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and into the net.
Substitute Ibrahim Afellay nearly doubled the Dutch lead in the 84th and 88th minutes, but both times he was stoned by a diving Kawashima.
Nevertheless, the Dutch have clinched a berth in the Round of 16.
Australia 1 Ghana 1
Despite playing with ten men for the vast majority of the match, Australia held on for a 1-1 draw against Ghana. Australia scored first in the 11th minute when forward Brett Holman scored off a rebound from goalkeeper Richard Kingson; Kingson had trouble handling the free kick from Mark Bresciano.
However, the tempo of the match changed in the 24th minute when Harry Kewell blocked a shot at the goal line with his upper arm; Kewell was issued a red card. Asamoah Gyan converted on the ensuing penalty kick to level the score at one goal apiece; both of Gyan’s goals in this World Cup were scored on penalty kicks.
It was the first time since 1998 that a country received an instant red card in consecutive matches.
Despite the one-man advantage, Ghana was unable to score another goal. In fact, they nearly gave up a goal to a shorthanded Australian team in the second half. Nevertheless, both teams settled for the 1-1 tie. After Australia’s goal in the 11th minute, Ghana fired a total of twenty-one shots (six on goal) while Australia fired just six (three on goal).
Denmark 2 Cameroon 1
Just over a week of World Cup play, and we already know who’s NOT going to advance to the Round of 16. Cameroon lost its second game in group play and has officially been eliminated from the World Cup. Cameroon still has to play one more game in group play; it will face off against the Netherlands, who became the first team to advance past group play.
Samuel Eto’o scored the first goal of the game for Cameroon in the 10th minute after a defensive miscue by the Danish. However, Nicklas Bendtner scored the equalizer in the 33rd minute after receiving a centering pass from Dennis Rommedahl; Rommedahl’s pass caught Cameroon goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou out of position, leaving Bendtner nothing but an empty net.
Rommendahl scored the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute with a left-footed strike past Souleymanou.
Cameroon created several scoring opportunities for itself, firing a total of 23 shots (only seven were on goal). However, Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen made six saves to preserve the win for Denmark.