Netherlands score 1-0 victory against Japan

The Netherlands defeated Japan 1-0 and emphasised their class with a dominating performance in their second round Group E match of the 2010 World Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

A Wesley Sneijder thunderbolt on 53 minutes proved much too hot for the Japanese keeper and his attempted deflection finished in the back of the net for what turned out to be the match winner.

The Netherlands now have 6 points from their first two games and are all but assured of going through to the next round while Japan can be proud of their effort and if they can beat Denmark in their next match then a next stage position will most likely await.

First Half
The Netherlands were in possession of the ball for most of the first half but they failed to do much with it and barely troubled the Japanese goal keeper.

Japan were happy to have players behind the ball and defended well to ensure the Dutch were unable to get away with anything from a dangerous position.

Both sides had minimal impact in their opposing goal mouth for the half and game lacked any excitement whatsoever, much like the England and Algeria game yesterday.

It was a little bit cat and mouse in the first 45 minutes and little adventure resulting in a 0-0 score line.

First half rating (Out of 5): Japan 3.0 – Netherlands 3.5

Second Half
Sneijder and Van Persie had early chances for the Netherlands and things were looking up from an entertainment point of view/

It wasn’t long before the Dutch grabbed a one goal lead thanks to a Wesley Sneijder shot that Japan keeper Kawashima tried to parry away but the force of the shot ensured the opening score of the match on 53 minutes.

The goal released some shackles for both teams and Japan started be more adventurous without being able to find the finishing touch required to get through a resilient Holland defence.

Continuing to dominate with the ball, the Netherlands had a couple of clear cut chances when Afellay had two opportunities in quick succession but he was unable to convert.

Okazaki had a chance to equalise for Japan just before the death when his shot sailed over the bar from inside the penalty box.

In a game the Netherlands completely controlled, they got the win that was always there for the taking.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): Japan 3.0 – 4.0 Netherlands

Final Score

Japan 0 – 1 Netherlands

53m Wesley Sneijder (Net)

Gregory van der Wiel (Net)

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

64m Shunsuke Nakamura for Daisuke Matsui
77m Keiji Tamada for Makoto Hasebe
77m Shinji Okazaki for Yoshito Okubo

Netherlands Starting 11
Maarten Stekelenburg, Gregory van der Wiel, Johnny Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni v. Bronckhorst, Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel, Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Robin van Persie

72m Eljero Elia for Rafael van der Vaart
83m Ibrahim Afellay for Wesley Sneijder
88m Klaas Jan Huntelaar for Robin van Persie

Team Game Rating (out of 10): Japan  6.0 – 7.5 Netherlands

Match Thoughts

Japan tried hard but all they could really do is defend in numbers and they never really seriously threatened the Dutch except for one or two half chances that were not to be.

Netherlands dominated possession and once they scored the first goal in the second-half they started to play more attacking football and from the very first whistle they were always going to win this game.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup