Monday, June 14, 2010

Keisuke Honda scored inspire for Japan to next step game : Japan 1-0 Camerron

**Keisuke Honda scored in the first half Monday to lead Japan to a 1-0 win over an uninspired Cameroon in Group E of the World Cup.
The win is Japan's first at the World Cup on foreign soil, and puts the Japanese at the top of Group E along with the Netherlands, which beat Denmark 2-0 earlier Monday.

After a sloppy opening 30 minutes at the Free State Stadium, Japan broke the deadlock in the 39th when Daisuke Matsui's curling cross from the right drifted over Cameroon defenders Nicolas Nkoulou and Stephane Mbia and fell to Honda at the back post. The striker neatly controlled the ball and slotted it past goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou.

Despite an attack led by Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon never really challenged Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima. The Africans struggled to control the ball and generate any rhythm up front, and even when they managed to put a few passes together, the buildup was usually wasted by poor crosses.

Cameroon's first shot on goal came in the 37th minute, when Eric Choupo-Moting dropped the ball at the top of the box for Eyong Enoh, but Kawashima easily handled the midfielder's low drive.

Japan's stiff defense frustrated Cameroon and kept Eto'o in check. Cameroon looked lost in the midfield, and clearly missed the creativity of Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, who coach Paul Le Guen opted to keep on the bench.

Eto'o tried to played a more active role in the second half. Just after the break, the Inter Milan striker deftly skipped through three defenders near the touch line before drawing the ball back for Choupo-Moting. But Coupo-Moting's right-footed shot drifted past the left post.

Defender Stephane Mbia nearly leveled for Cameroon in the 87th, but his long drive hit the post.

Team Line-Ups:

Japan: Eji Kawashima, Marcus Tulio Tanaka's, Yuji Nakazawa, Yuto Nagamoto,, Yuichi Komano, Yuki Abe, Yashuito Endo, Makoto Hasebe (C)(Junichi Inamoto 87 '), Daisuke Matsui (Okazaki Shinji 68'), Yoshito Okubo (Kisho Yano 81'), Keisuke Honda

Cameroon: Suleymanou Hamidou, Sebastien Bassong, Nicolas N'Koulou, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Joel Matip (Achille Emana 63'), Stephane M'Bia, Eyong Enoh , Jean Makoun (Geremi Njitap 74'), Macim Choupo-Moting (Mohamadou Idrissou 74'), Pierre Webo, Samuel Eto'o (C)


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