Pattaya Daily News

15 June 2010 :: 15:06:38 pm 25378

Italy Disappoint as Japan & Holland Kick-off in Style

Reigning champions Italy bumbled their way to a disappointing draw against Paraguay overnight, whilst Group E teams Denmark and Cameroon have their work cut-out if they have ambitions on progressing from the group stages after losses to Holland and Japan respectively.
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South Africa, the 14th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Kicking off the 4th night of action at the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, arch rivals Holland and Denmark played out a functional match which finished 2-0 in the Dutch’s favour.

The first goal came by way of yet another error, a common theme at this years World Cup, when a Simon Poulsen header bounced of Daniel Agger and into the unattended goal. The second, in a determined if not spectacular Dutch performance, came from a Dirk Kuyt tap-in in the 85th minute of the match.

The Dutch, now unbeaten in 20 international matches, have taken top spot in a group that also includes the likes of Japan and Cameroon, who also played overnight.

The Japanese stunned Cameroon, in the second Group E fixture of the night, with a 1-0 win in what is being labelled a dreadful encounter at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. Japan’s win is their first in a World Cup final’s outside of their own country. Japan co-hosted the 2002 tournament with South Korea.

The only notable feature of a very dour match was Keisuke Honda’s 38th minute strike which brought about the matches only goal. The goal came after a deep cross was brought down exquisitely by Honda who then deftly tucked the ball home after Cameroon defender Stephane Mbia was found wanting.

To underline the paucity of attacking football on display, Japan had only three shots in their win, the fewest by a winning side in the World Cup finals since 1966. The win puts Japan in second place in Group E, behind Holland who they next play at the Durban Stadium on the 19th of June.

Reigning World Cup Champions Italy were forced to come from behind in their match against a spirited Paraguay. The fixture ended in a dour 1-1 draw. A late second half flourish by the Italian champions failed to bring about a winner in what was a decided drab affair.

The opening goal came through Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcaraz after some slack defending by the Italians allowed him to comfortably head the ball home. Italy’s equaliser in the 62nd minute by midfielder Daniele De Rossi brought the crowd to their feet with expectations of a late goal blitz never coming to fruition.

Paraguay were effectively reduced to 10 men by the end of the fixture, with all three subs used and Santana limping around injured, but they held on determined to frustrate the Azzurri into their 20th World Cup finals draw, a tournament record. New Zealand and Slovakia, the other two teams in Group F, play on Tuesday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

In the other two fixtures of tonight, we see the proclaimed group of death kickoff as the Ivory Coast play Portugal whilst 5 time World Cup champions Brazil play off with North Korea in there first ever World Cup appearance.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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