Tag Archives: Yasuhito Endo

World Cup results – June 24

24 Jun

Of course the biggest news of the day is Slovakia’s win over Italy which knocked the defending champs out of the World Cup.  I blogged about that game earlier, so I won’t repeat myself.  Viva Slovakia.

Paraguay won the group with five points after a 0-0 draw with New Zealand.  Paraguay was kind of a surprise group winner, but a deserved one.  New Zealand also had a successful campaign despite going out of the tournament  Going unbeaten in a group that included the defending champs has to be considered a success by Kiwi standards.

In group E, the Netherlands left no doubt as to who was top, winning all three games.  Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the winner in a 2-1 win over Cameroon to close out group play.  Japan took second in the group with a 3-1 win over Denmark.  Japan scored two first half goals off some rather gorgeous free kicks.  Keisuke Honda had the first and Yasuhito Endo had the second.  Denmark pulled within one on a Jon Dahl Tomasson goal, but Japan put the game out of reach in the 87th minute.

Group E results
Denmark 1 (Tomasson 81)
Japan 3 (Honda 17, Endo 30, Okazaki 87)

Cameroon 1 (Eto’o 65 – pen)
Netherlands 2 (Van Persie 36, Huntelaar 83)

Group F results
Slovakia 3 (Vittek 25, 73, Kopenek 89)
Italy 2 (Di Natale 81, Quagliarella 90)

Paraguay 0
New Zealand 0

Group E final standings
Netherlands 9 (+4)
Japan 6 (+2)
Denmark 3 (-3)
Cameroon 0 (-3)

Group F final standings
Paraguay 5 (+2)
Slovakia 4 (-1)
New Zealand 3 (0)
Italy 2 (-1) – HAHA

Round of 16 matchups
Paraguay vs. Japan
Netherlands vs. Slovakia

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Group E preview

7 Jun

Group E
Cameroon
Denmark
Japan
Netherlands

Cameroon is led by mercuial midfielder Samuel Eto’o, who threatened to quit the team after aformer star player Roger Milla made some disparaging remarks about him. Really?! You are a grown man and that might possibly be the lamest reason ever to quit a national team right before the World Freakin’ Cup. Anyways, as of right now, it looks like Eto’o will be playing which is good news for Cameroon as the team’s success will likely depend on Eto’o’s ability to orchestrate the offense. The team’s defense is solid, but not exceptionally fast and that could come back to bite them against speedy teams like Japan and Holland.

Denmark comes into the World Cup as a confident squad after winning a tough qualification group that included favorites Portugal. Arsenal’s pink-booted Nicklas Bendtner has the ability to score some nice-looking goals or totally muss things up, so it will be interesting to see which version shows up in South Africa. Liverpool’s Daniel Agger will help anchor the defense. Agger also has the ability to unleash some long range bombs.

Japan is in its fourth straight World Cup. The team will be aiming to pick up a win or two on foreign soil for the first time. Midfielder Yasuhito Endo’s performance will be key as he helps control the pace of the game. Keisuke Honda is also a potentially dangerous player out of the midfield. Despite finishing second in qualification behind Australia, goals were not easy to come by for Japan, so the question will be who can find the back of the net.

Netherlands is the clear favorite to win group E. The Dutch coasted through qualifying and have the potential to go far in the tournament. (But I thought that in 2006 as well and what happened? A four red card debacle against Portugal.) The strength of the Dutch team is in the midfield and the attack. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder is always dangerous and adds yet another potent option to an already speedy attack. Striker Arjen Robben suffered an injury scare in a 6-1 friendly win over Hungary, but he should be fit in time for the opening match against Denmark. The big question mark for the Netherlands is the man between the sticks. Maarten Stekelenburg replaced Edwin van der Sar and he’ll have to be at his best if the Dutch want to go deep into the tournament.

The Soccer Wall’s picks to advance: Netherlands, Denmark