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Pattaya Daily News

25 June 2010 :: 17:06:47 pm 27417

Impressive Japan Through as Slovakia Upstage Woeful Italy

The Netherlands and Japan are through to the second round after impressive wins, whilst Slovakia dumped reigning World Cup holders Italy out in a thrilling encounter. In the other match the determined New Zealanders held Paraguay to a draw, but unfortunately will take no further part in this year’s competition.
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South Africa, the 25th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Japan reached the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time on foreign soil last night as they beat Denmark 3-1 at the Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg. Japan were vibrant throughout, full value for their victory, whilst the Danes looked laborious and predictable for much of the match.

Two First-half free-kicks from Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo put Japan ahead whilst a Jon Dahl Tomasson effort nine minutes from time gave the Danes some hope. Shinji Okazaki sealed victory with a superb assist from Honda in the dying moments of the match. Japan only needed a point from the match to secure progression but deservedly took the win.

In the other Group E match Holland secured their progression with an assured performance against Cameroon at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. Already assured of progression following the Japanese result against Denmark, Holland’s performance, although a little reserved, got the job done against a Cameroonian team already booked on a flight home.

Robin Van Persie’s first goal of the finals on 36 minutes gave the Dutch the lead before it was cancelled out by Samuel Eto’s clinical 65th minute penalty. Klass-Jan Huntelaar assured Holland maintained their perfect record in this year’s tournament, converting on 83 minutes following an Arjen Robben shot that bounced out off the woodwork.

In Group F, Slovakia stunned Italy taking a deserved 3-2 victory at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Italy became only the fourth World Cup holders to exit the tournament at the Group stage and the second major contender to be dumped out of this years tournament after the French departed earlier in the week.

Robert Vittek scored either side of the break to give the Slovakians a 2-0 lead whilst Antonio Di Natale pulled one back for the desperate Italians nine minutes from time. Kamil Kopunek restored the two goal lead, putting the game beyond doubt in the final minute only for Fabio Quagliarella to respond almost immediately from the kickoff.

Paraguay assured themselves top spot in the group after succumbing to a 0-0 draw against a determined New Zealand outfit. Despite the Kiwi’s passion three draws from three matches were not enough to ensure progression as they too book their flight home with Italy.

The South Americans enjoyed most of the possession and chances, but could not find a way through a stubborn New Zealand defence. So determined were the Kiwi’s in defence, the Paraguay keeper Justo Villar did not have to make a single save in the 90 minutes. New Zealand head home undefeated whilst Paraguay will go on to face Japan.

Tonight’s include; North Korea v Ivory Coast and the mouth watering fixture of Brazil v Portugal. In group H Switzerland will play Honduras whilst Spain faceoff against the impressive Chileans.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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