Japan upset Cameroon 1-0 in Bloemfontein

Japan has upset Cameroon 1-0 in their Group E match of the 2010 World Cup at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

A wonderful goal in the 39th minute to Keisuke Honda for Japan was enough to get the win for the Asian side over their more favoured African opponents.

Cameroon played with  little intensity in the first half and may have under estimated the Japanese who scored their first win at the World Cup outside of their own country.

It was the first ever defeat in the opening round for Cameroon at the World Cup and they now face an uphill battle to qualify for the next round.

First Half
An uninspiring game that was only memorable in the first half for a fine goal to Honda for Japan on 39 minutes.

Daisuke Matsui sent a ball in from the right that landed at Keisuke Honda’s feet where he killed it and drilled it from close range for a bit of quality in a game devoid of any up until that point.

Cameroon played as if it were a kick in the park and they showed little passion for the contest at all.

Half-time the score was 1-0 to Japan.

First half rating (Out of 5): Japan 2 – Cameroon 1.5

Second Half
The second half was marginally better than the first half and Cameroon attacked aimlessly for most of the 45 minutes while Japan were content just to kick the ball as far as they could out of defence to stop any African forward thrusts.

Cameroon had a few half chances but never looked like scoring until a long shot by Stephane M´Bia sees the ball actually dip for once and strike the crossbar unluckily for the African team.

In injury time a Pierre Webo shot was parried by the Japanese keeper and that’s all she wrote.

Japan win the game 1-0 and do the bookies a favour.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): Japan 2 – Cameroon 2

Final Score

Japan 1 – 0 Cameroon

39m Keisuke Honda (Jap)

72m N. N´Koulou (Cam)
90m Y. Abe (Jap)

Japan Starting 11
Eiji Kawashima, Yuto Nagatomo, Yuji Nakazawa, Tulio, Yuichi Komano, Yuki Abe, Daisuke Matsui, Keisuke Honda, Makoto Hasebe, Yasuhito Endo, Yoshito Okubo

69m Shinji Okazaki for Daisuke Matsui
81m Kisho Yano for Yoshito Okubo
88m Junichi Inamoto for    Makoto Hasebe

Cameroon Starting 11
Soleymanou Hamidou, Stéphane M´Bia, Nicolas N´Koulou, Sébastien Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Joel Matip, Jean Makoun, Eyong Enoh, Samuel Eto´o, Pierre Webo,
Eric Choupo-Moting

63m Achille Emana for Joel Matip
75m Geremi for Jean Makoun
75m Mohamadou Idrissou for Eric Choupo-Moting

Team Game Rating (out of 10): Japan 4 – Cameroon 3.5

Match Thoughts

Not a game we would wish to see again in a hurry and both sides would have to improve quite a bit to do any damage if they do manage to make it to the next round.

Japan players dropped to the ground at the slightest chance to try and conjur a cheap free kick which was frustrating to watch through the game and hopefully for future games referees will be more aware.

Cameroon suffered for their lack of intensity in the game and Japan’s team discipline combined with their ability to score a goal and then shut the Africans out was the difference in the match.


Positives: Effectively shut down Cameroon’s offence and outplayed the African side on the day.
Area to Improve: Need to stop going to ground for cheap frees and against a better side they will struggle to score unless they can create more chances.
Where to now: Have to front up to the Netherlands and hard to see them getting near the Dutch on that performance.


Positives: They are still in the tournament maybe. Couldn’t see any from their game tonight as they were most disappointing and deserved to lose considering how casually they applied themselves.
Area to Improve: Intensity levels and finishing need to improve rapidly or they will be out of the tournament after their next game.
Where to now: Face Denmark who performed well against the Netherlands and Cameroon will need to come to play or they will end up going away.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup