Saturday, 19th June 2010
Sneijder Strike Seals It
Holland vs Japan
Both Holland and Japan went into this game on three points.
The referee, Hector Baldassi of Argentina, is the second referee to be
in charge of his second game; having shown a red card in the Serbia
vs Ghana match.
Perhaps Holland were feeling nervous after watching Switzerland beat
Spain and Germany lose to Serbia. Or were they trying to bore Japan and drain them of
their energy, by putting them to sleep.
Even the referee had no real motivation to go for his notebook; until
the 36th minute, when Gregory Van Der Wiel cynically nudged Daisuke Matsui into a roll.
The second-half had to get better, as anything is better than nothing.
Wesley Sneijder finally relieved the boredom with a solid strike that
Eiji Kawashima could only push into his own net; eight minutes after the break.
Japan had a few chances, twenty minutes from time. Inspired by that,
Takeshi Okada made a double attacking substitution, six minutes later.
It was Ibrahim Afellay, for Holland, however who appeared the most
promising of all the substitutions. Shinji Okazaki - another substitute - also came close
to equalising for Japan in the closing minutes. Yuto Nagatomo tried to look for a penalty
but Hector Baldassi wasn't deceived. Although it looked like he pointed to the spot, it
was a signal for a goal-kick.
Unless Cameroon beat Denmark,
Holland will be the first team to qualify for the Second
Holland 1 Japan 0
1:0 Wesley Sneijder (53 mins)
Man of The Match:
Wesley Sneijder - In an unispiring match, we'll give the award to the goalscorer, as is so
often the case.
1 Maarten Stekelenburg; 5 Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, 4J oris Mathijsen, 3 John Heitinga, 2
Gregory Van Der Wiel; 23 Rafael Van der Vaart, 8 Nigel De Jong, 6 Mark Van Bommel, 7 Dirk
Kuyt; 9 Robin Van Persie, 10 Wesley Sneijder.
21 Eiji Kawashima; 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 4 Marcus Tulio Tanaka, 22 Yuji Nakazawa, 3 Yuichi
Komano; 7 Yasuhito Endo, 2 Yuki Abe, 17 Makoto Hasebe; 18 Keisuke Honda, 16 Yoshito Okubo,
8 Daisuke Matsui.
Hector Baldassi (Argentina)
64 Mins (Japan) - 10 Shunsuke Nakamura on for 8 Daisuke Matsui
72 Mins (Holland) - 17 Eljero Elia on for 23 Rafael Van der Vaart
76 Mins (Japan) - 9 Shinji Okazaki on for 17 Makoto Hasebe
76 Mins (Japan) - 11 Keiji Tamada on for 16 Yoshito Okubo
83 Mins (Holland) - 20 Ibrahim Afellay on for 10 Wesley Sneijder
88 Mins (Holland) - 21 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on for 9 Robin Van Persie
36 Mins - Gregory Van Der Wiel (Holland)
0 Red Cards.
Holland beat Japan (3:0) in their only previous encounter; a 2009 friendly held in
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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