Saturday saw the first team eliminated from World Cup 2010. Denmark’s 2-1 comeback against Cameroon, means the African side will have no chance of progressing to the next stage. The Danes seem to apply a tactic known as ‘The Clown School of Defending’, seen last week with the comedy own goal against Holland. This week it was just plain careless. An evening kick-a-round between the Denmark keeper and his defenders was rudely interrupted by Samuel Eto’o popping up to steal the ball and slide it past Sorensen after just ten minutes. This seemed to wake Denmark up and some neat play down the right sent Dennis Rommedahl through, sliding the ball across goal, and Arsenal striker Nicklas Bentner was there to stab the ball home. The winner came around the hour mark, when Rommedahl again found space down the right wing, this time cutting inside and curling a left foot shot past the Cameroon goalkeeper. The result means Denmark now face Japan and know a win would continue their run of progressing from the group stages at every World Cup they have played at.
Harry Kewell became the eighth player to be sent off at the tournament, for his goal-line save for Australia against Ghana. However, unfortunately for him it was seen by the referee and he was given his marching orders. Asamoah Gyan converted his second penalty in two games and equalised for Ghana after Brett Holman had put the Aussies ahead. After Serbia’s shock win over Germany, Group D is still wide open with any of the four sides being able to progress to the next round, or be sent home.
Denmark’s defeat of Cameroon meant that Group E’s other match that day resulted in Holland progressing to the last 16. This game consisted largely of a Japanese defence soaking up pressure from the Dutch, showing a well organised and disciplined style of play. Inevitably it was to be another goalkeeping error that gifted Holland the win. A long range effort from Wesley Sneijder hit the Japanese keeper on the side of his fist and deflected into the opposite corner. It was unfortunate for Japan, but in fairness Holland were probably the better team and deserve their place in the next round.