Japan
  • Keisuke Honda (39)
1 - 0
Free State Stadium
14/06/2010 16:00

Japan stun Cameroon

Japan beat Cameroon

Posted: 14 June 2010 Time: 06:00 pm

Japan recorded their first ever World Cup win away from home soil on Monday, picking up a 1-0 victory over Cameroon.

The first half was a miserable affair, yet it somehow produced a goal from Keisuke Honda. Stephane Mbia came closes for the Indomitable Lions in the closing stages of the match, striking a wonderful shot against the face of the Japanese bar.

In keeping with many of the matches at South Africa 2010, the start to this encounter was extremely pedestrian, with neither side making any kind of offensive headway in the early stages of the game as possession was frequently given away cheaply in front of a disappointingly empty stadium.

Genuine spells of pressure for either side were infrequent in the early stages, while ingenuity was an even scarcer commodity in the advanced areas of the field. Pierre Webo tried to bustle down the right channel for the Africans, but his cross was hacked away from the centre of the goal. For their part, the Japanese were retaining the ball better in the centre of the park, though posing no threat to Souleymanou Hamidou’s net.

Half an hour of the match passed without a solitary shot mustered by either side, with the Indomitable Lions swamped in the middle of the pitch by waves of Japan defenders, who seemed to roll effectively wherever the ball was. Blue Samurai goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima provided hope for the Africans, fumbling a couple of deep free kicks only to be bailed out by his defenders.

On 37 minutes, Eyong Enoh finally gave the crowd their first shot to cheer with a tame low drive from the edge of the penalty box trundling into the arms of Kawashima.

Within seconds, Japan managed to grab the lead. Diasuke Matsui, on his unnatural right, was given room to cut onto his favoured left foot by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The Grenoble man’s centre was then misjudged by Stephane Mbia, whose error allowed Honda to control the ball at the far post and slam into the net from six yards.

Samuel Eto’o, placed away on the right wing, had been anonymous in the first half, but it only took him four minutes following the restart to make an impression on the second period. Dancing away from a couple of challenges, he cut the ball back from the byline, but Maxim Choupo-Moting bent his shot wide of goal.

Cameroon’s play was certainly brisker in the early stages of the second half, though they were still making little headway. Choupo-Moting cut in from the flank to shoot wide from the edge of the box, but Paul Le Guen’s side certainly didn’t look liable to level.

Yasuhito Endo rather summed up the attacking threat Japan posed in the second half when he hammered a free kick too long for his team-mates when well positioned to deliver a dangerous cross. But the tenacious and well-drilled Japanese defence was such that there rarely looked likely to be any danger of the forwards needing to score again for the Asians to take three points.

Le Guen acted by introducing Geremi and Mohammadou Idrissou, but the pattern of the game changed none.

A rare Japanese attack nearly brought with it a second goal as Makoto Hasebe prodded a meaningful shot towards the corner of Hamidou’s goal from 25 yards. The goalkeeper got down to palm the ball clear and was partially saved as Shinji Okazaki, who was closing in on the follow-up, was deemed offside.

Time was by now an extremely scarce commodity and Cameroon were thrusting forward at every opportunity. With only five minutes remaining a stunning hit from Mbia cracked the face of the crossbar as he took aim from 25 yards out. Had the Marseille man’s shot been six inches lower, it would have been a real contender for goal of the tournament, but the Indomitable Lions were left cursing their luck as Achille Emana’s deflected follow-up was deflected straight at the goalkeeper.

This late enterprise came too late to bring with it a levelling goal, leaving Cameroon to approach their next game against Denmark knowing that defeat will see them likely eliminated. Japan, meanwhile, can optimistically look forward to the Netherlands, despite showing little enterprise in their opening game.

Article by: AN Other

HOME: Japan

  • 1 Eiji Kawashima
  • 4 Marcus Tulio Tanaka
  • 5 Yūichi Komano
  • 5 Yuto Nagatomo
  • 22 Yuji Nakazawa
  • 4 Keisuke Honda
  • 7 Yasuhito Endo
  • 17 Makoto Hasebe
    88 mins - Junichi Inamoto
  • 22 Yuki Abe
  • 22 Daisuke Matsui
    69 mins - Shinji Okazaki
  • 13 Yoshito Ōkubo
    81 mins - Kisho Yano

AWAY: Cameroon

  • 0 Souleymanou Hamidou
  • 0 Sebastien Bassong
  • 2 Benoit Assou-Ekotto
  • 3 Nicolas Nkoulou
  • 17 Stephane Mbia
  • 11 Jean Makoun
    75 mins - Geremi
  • 18 Eyong Enoh
  • 21 Joel Matip
    63 mins - Achille Emana
  • 9 Samuel Eto'o
  • 13 Eric Choupo Moting
    75 mins - Mohamadou Idrissou
  • 15 Pierre Webo

Previous comments on this story...

Anonymous
posted: 06:10 pm
The Indomitable 'sleeping' Lions want to wake up when it is too late in the game. Modern game is 90 minutes of full concentration.The little Japanase used the Lions' hugeness against their advantage.Where was ETO? lol!! Lions, come on,rediscover talent in young ones.
kusterigo
posted: 06:13 pm
This Legendary idiot Roger Moola/Miller killed the Cameroonian team's spirit with his idiotic comments about the team's most influencial player, we will blame him if one of our African giants crashes out in group stages.
Anonymous
posted: 06:33 pm
Now i'm convinced that foreign coaches are distroying our AFRICAN flair of football. Samuel Eto'o is a centre forward not a right wing but credit to the blue samurai they slaughtered the indomitable lions.African teams are disappointing.
stan'Lee
posted: 06:35 pm

It is a pity Cameroon lost this group opener against the Japanese.
I think the Indomitable Lions stepped-up their game in the 2nd half but the goal(s) didnot come.

Well, I have expected us to come out of this group with atleast 6 points from Japan and Denmark respectively to move to the 2nd round.

However, I still believe Cameroon can still make it to the 2nd round with results frm The Dutch and Danish teams after watching their openner earlier.

Go Cameroon !!! Go Africa!!!

God no dey sleep!!!
Anonymous
posted: 06:40 pm
It is a pity that Cameroon lost but I still beleive that they can still bounce back.
Africa wake up !! We can do it.
Proudly Nigerian.
ugoeagle
posted: 06:40 pm
A complete disappointing game by Cameron. Absolutely no chance to advance judging from their perfomance today. From defence to mid-field to attack I give them grade "F." No 2 player tried, Eto sometimes tried to help, over all their is no Cameronian World Cup Team at this tournament. No game plan, No team purpose, no tactics, no passion, everything about the team is simply is elementary, in fact they played like school boys. I thought, I was watching a Cameronian basket ball team trying their luck in soccer. All the same, I wish them goodluck!
ugoeagle
posted: 06:45 pm
A complete disappointing game by Cameron. Absolutely no chance to advance judging from their perfomance today. From defence to mid-field to attack I give them grade "F." No 2 player tried, Eto sometimes tried to help, over all their is no Cameronian World Cup Team at this tournament. No game plan, No team purpose, no tactics, no passion, everything about the team is simply is elementary, in fact they played like school boys. I thought, I was watching a Cameronian basket ball team trying their luck in soccer. All the same, I wish them goodluck!
ugoeagle
posted: 06:55 pm
A complete disappointing game by Cameron. Absolutely no chance to advance judging from their perfomance today. From defence to mid-field to attack I give them grade "F." No 2 player tried, Eto sometimes tried to help, over all their is no Cameronian World Cup Team at this tournament. No game plan, No team purpose, no tactics, no passion, everything about the team is simply is elementary, in fact they played like school boys. I thought, I was watching a Cameronian basket ball team trying their luck in soccer. All the same, I wish them goodluck!
Anonymous
posted: 07:22 pm
I think the coach got it wrong by making Eto to play from the right flank. He should have been played in his usual center forward position. Also Song should have started the game.
...Proudly Nigerian
Mriyo (B2B Trebble Champs not a fluke double)
posted: 07:28 pm
I dnt undstnd y the coch had Alex Song n Emana on da bench,thiz foregn coches r a joke n embarasing Africa.The WC wil be won by a team coched by thier own,Angetina,Brazil,Germany or Spain.How many foregn coches hav won the WC,even Pereira won it wit Brazil bt failed wit otha nations
Anonymous
posted: 07:42 pm
Something is seriuosly wrong in the lion's den,5 new players?Njitap,Alex Song,Emana,Idrissou all on the bench,either this coach has got big balls or he has lost his marble,Le Guen,u have let the entire African continent down,if i were the from de Cameroun FA,i would fire this idiot immediately
Anonymous
posted: 10:05 pm
next dnt 4gt 2 line up th bst player lyk geremi, song & emana they'r nt injured why u foregn cochs doing ths 2 our african continent?. I deslyke th line up of cameroons squad against japan thnk 2ice n do nt rept by next tym
Anonymous
posted: 11:53 pm
Well done to the Blue Samurais. African teams think that just because the World Cup is played in africa, everybody is gonna lie down for them to beat. Some of these African teams are way over-rated anyway.

I see no African team making it to quaterfinals
Terms of use:

The comments posted do not reflect the views of KickOff.com. Users are reminded that no misuse of this comment facility will be tolerated. Any abusive, racist, inflammatory, defamatory, discriminatory comments or hate speech will be deleted and the user banned.

If legally obliged we will hand over your information under the Protection of Information Act.

Please report abusive posts to editor@kickoff.com.