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Holland
1
 
0
Japan
W. Sneijder  53' 1-0 
HT: 0-0
Moses Mabhida Stadium (Attendance: 62,010)
Referee: Hector Baldassi
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Holland vs. Japan
Minute Commentary
95' ORANJE ARMY MARCH ON
It was not pretty, and barely effective in honesty but - unlike England yesterday - Holland were able to find what was necessary to get past a fiercely determined Japan side whose limited ambition were questionable on two fronts... Firstly their negativity in the first 45 lead to one of the worst halves of football one could imagine but secondly, when they applied themselves going forward, they looked a decent side and while they surely didn't have the talent to out-gun Holland they lost the game anyway - so why no have a go?? For Holland, qualification is now assured from the group and they have a few days to work on finding some cohesion going forward. It was not a game to stick long in the memory but the Dutch fans will not mind that. Two games, six points - they are quite happy, thank you.
94' AND THAT'S IT
the whistle brings an end to this game and Holland wind up 1-0 victors
93' ALL OVER
Dutch hearts skipped a beat again as the ref looked like he was considering handing a very generous penalty decision to Japan but he gave the decision against the side chasing. Surely all over now.
90' HEART IN MOUTH
Wow, that was the chance that you felt sure Japan would get and it was great football, with a quick ball headed down for substitute Okazaki inside the area but with the goal beckoning he blazed narrowly over the bar... too close for comfort
88' AFELLAY AGAIN
The midfielder is staking his place for a start in the last game of this group, bursting forward with bad intention again, and again denied by a last gasp intervention from the keeper. Good stuff from Holland.
87' LAST CHANGE
Robin Van Persie is replaced by Klaas Jan Huntelaar
85' WELL SMOTHERED
Afellay comes on for the goalscorer, Sneijder and his first participation almost leads to a second goal for Holland as he races forward with pace into the area but is scuppered by Kawashima who smothers well at the attackers feet.
84' IF ANYONE CAN...
We have so far seen no-one in this tournament hit a decent free-kick at goal... if the opportunity arises, keep an eye out for Nakamura who is a bit special at dead balls - one of the reasons he was introduced no doubt
81' BUSINESS END
We're down the business end of proceedings now and while the second half was a vast improvement on the horror show that was the first, it is has been mildly engaging as opposed to enthralling. Let's see if we can find some late drama...
78' DOUBLE CHANGE
Japan roll the dice with Hasebe and Matsui making way for Shunsuke Nakamura and Tamada. An aggressive move from the manager.
76' ALL TO PLAY FOR
Despite the fact they are in the lead, Holland could ideally do with another if they are not going to face a nervous close to this game. Japan have had some bright spells since going behind and they are certainly not beyond pegging the European side back...
74' ALMOST END-TO-END
The action is almost reaching real heights now as as both sides open up and look to play the ball with intent from the middle of the park. All we need now is some more chances and a little goalmouth action
72' CH-CH-CH CHANGES
Eljero Elia to the rescue again as he replaces Rafael Van der Vaart. Let's see if the youngster can add some cutting edge to Holland's efforts
69' GOOD DEFENDING
Van der Wiel and Van Persie give away corners in quick succession and both interventions were needed as Japan surge forward with purpose. Holland just need to get their heads right here and do what they started out doing in this half - manufacturing some width and pinging the ball round to stretch Japan
66' BALL MOVEMENT
Replays are showing that the already infamous jubulani ball played a healthy hand in Holland's goal. The movement was as dramatic as any Shakespeare play.
65' JUST WIDE
Okubo lashes wide of the right hand post. It was never going to beat Stekelenburg but is testament to Japan's sudden interest in trying to score a goal.
60' INCREASED TEMPO
If Holland thought the goal might open the floodgates, they were mistaken. Japan look determined to make a fist of this and are enjoying some good pressure. Why they couldn't have started the game in this fashion is a question for the man in charge, Takeshi Okada
58' JAPANESE AMBITION
Japan have responded already and win a corner, which is played short and leads to another corner. The crowd are drinking in this new found excitement on the pitch with gusty gulps. They were understandably thirsty for it after the non-event that was the first half...
56' WELCOME TO THE REAL GAME
Let's hope the first half has been consigned to the annals of history - in a dark corner somewhere, where no-one will ever find it. With that goal, everything changes. Japan will surely have to look to attack and the gaps this leaves should lead to proper football match.
53' GGGOOOOALLLLL!!!
And finally... a cross comes in from the left, and it is headed out but only as far as Wesley Sneijder who thunders a shot at goal. The keeper was all over the place and the ball found the back of the net. 1-0 and game on
53' MORE SPACE
Holland are stretching the game now and looking a lot better
49' RIGHT IDEA
A long diagonal ball finds Van Persie, who gets beyond the last man but can only steer the ball wide. Still, good positive intention from Holland who perhaps must try and be more direct and bypass the midfield area which is so packed full of players
47' ON TARGET!
Gio Van Bronckhorst gets to the byline on the left and centres the ball for Van Persie but his header is straight at the keeper... still, a more positive start from the Dutch
46' MUST DO BETTER
The second half is underway as Japan kick this game off... here's hoping the half time talk has the desired effect
45' GOT TO GET BETTER...
Another half of flat, unenterprising football comes to a close and... well.. there's not a lot to say really. Japan look content to do this all day so the onus is on Holland to find something. Let's hope they do because this is not what we want to see. A dire half ends 0-0
45' HALF TIME
The ref puts this game out of its misery for fifteen minutes.
43' (DE)PRESSING
You can only admire the energy that Japan have shown in pressing the ball but I'm not sure the thousands here or the millions at home turned up to watch a defensive master-class. Holland are being nullified and half time will be a welcome break to the tedium...
41' ANOTHER SHOCKER
Honda lines up a free-kick from all of 40-yds out but can only thwack it inevitably high over the bar.
39' ANNOYING
Something has spurred the Vuvuzelas into an angry spiral of 'who can blow the loudest' giving this match some competition as to which is the most annoying
37' CHANCES!
Japan have two efforts on goal in quick succession, one headed wide from a free kick, the second fired wide from open play... this is not going as the Dutch would have liked
35' YELLOW CARD
The fast real action in minutes as Dutch frustration manifests itself in a cynical challenge from Van der Wiel who is booked for his troubles
33' HIGH AND WIDE
Hondo heads high, wide and not so handsome following a set-piece midway in the Dutch half of the pitch. Like so many games in this World Cup, the football is struggling to match the vibrancy of the Vuvuzelas that are being blown all around the ground
30' COMING DEEP
In an effort to try and get hold of the ball, Wesley Sneijder is dropping deep, while lone Dutch striker Robin van Persie has not had a touch for what seems an age. The Dutch need to shake things up and try something different. This game isn't going to get going by itself...
28' LULL TO DULL
It would seem that perhaps it was not a lull in the action but the end of the action... Japan are swarming all over Holland in the middle of the park and every misplaced pass is punished. We are in danger of witnessing another boring game unless Japan gamble (unlikely) or Holland can find some quality
24' CONTENT TO SMOTHER
If Japan's game plan was not obvious before, it now seems apparent that they will be quite happy to see out a goalless draw. If Holland are going to draw them into a football match, they are going to have to move the ball a lot quicker and move a lot better off the ball.
22' NOT PRETTY
Any impetus that the Dutch had built in the opening stanza has been lost and this game has been drawn down into an unfulfilling chess match...
20' LULL
things have slowed down as Japan close down and make things as tough as they can for Holland to play. Neither keeper has seem much action so far...
15' SETTING THEIR STALL OUT
Japan have settled into this are keeping their shape really well. Holland will need to wear this side down and play well to look good - something they couldn't manage against Denmark.
13' ANOTHER FREE-KICK
The Japanese players are giving away free-kicks in advanced positions, putting themselves under pressure but they defend well as Van der Vaart whips in a ball with pace from the right
11' HALF CHANCE
Japan string their first series of offensive passes together and it gives left-back Nagatomo a chance to shoot, but he fizzes the ball wide of the up-right. This is settling into a decent game.
10' PRESSURE ON
Holland are looking dangerous here and Japan look a little caught in the headlights. A good move breaks down with an audacious attempt at an overhead kick from Dirk Kuyt
9' OVER THE TOP
The first attempt at goal goes high over the crossbar from a Wesley Sneijder free-kick
6' PATENCE
After flying out of the blocks energy-wise, Holland settle down to some good, patient, passing football - they're playing high up the pitch and knocking the ball round well despite the throng of Japan's five man midfield
4' FIRST CORNER
van Persie stands up a ball to the back post after reaching the by-line and Nagatomo heads out for the first corner of the game, defended well by Japan
3' INTENT
The Japan players are looking to set an even tempo, while the Dutch seem determined to set a vicious pace.
1' WE'RE OFF
The game is underway and we are looking at two unchanged sides, both on the back of wins in their opening games
0' A SEA OF ORANGE
Durban has gone Orange with the lively Dutch fans all kitted out to witness what they hope will be an improved performance
0' JAPAN TEAM
21-Eiji Kawashima; 2-Yuki Abe, 22-Yuji Nakazawa, 4-Tulio, 3-Yuichi Komano; 5-Yuto Nagatomo, 16-Yoshito Okubo, 7-Yasuhito Endo, 17-Makoto Hasebe, 8-Daisuke Matsui; 18-Keisuke Honda
0' HOLLAND TEAM
1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen, 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst; 7-Dirk Kuyt, 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 8-Nigel de Jong, 23-Rafael van der Vaart; 9-Robin van Persie
0' WHAT'S AT STAKE
Although a win wouldn't guarantee progression to the last 16, it would make the chances of progression extremely likely. Defeat wouldn't be terminal but is likely to leave everything hanging on victory in the final round of games.
0' EARLY TEAM NEWS
Both teams are expected to name the same starting XI that began the opening games. Robben is training as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury and the lively Elia will be unlucky to miss out.
0' PREVIEW
The leaders of Group E after the opening round of games clash in Durban, but it will come as a huge surprise if Japan pull off another shock win. Toast of the nation after their 1-0 win over Cameroon, Takeshi Okada's side are well-drilled but don't have the attacking options of the Dutch. So highly-fancied going into the tournament, the Oranje failed to impress in 2-0 win against Denmark in their opening game.
CommentaryTeam StatsPlayer Stats Shotchart
Teams
Holland
(4-2-3-1)
Maarten Stekelenburg1
36' Gregory Van der Wiel2
John Heitinga3
Joris Mathijsen4
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst5
Mark Van Bommel6
Nigel De Jong8
Dirk Kuyt7
83' 53' Wesley Sneijder10
72' Rafael Van der Vaart23
88' Robin Van Persie9
Substitutes
Sander Boschker22
Michel Vorm16
Andre Ooijer13
Khalid Boulahrouz2
Edson Braafheid15
83' Ibrahim Afellay20
Stijn Schaars18
Demy De Zeeuw14
72' Eljero Elia17
88' Klaas-Jan Huntelaar21
Arjen Robben11
Ryan Babel19
Japan
(4-5-1)
21Eiji Kawashima
5Yuto Nagatomo
22Yuji Nakazawa
4Marcus Tanaka
3Yuichi Komano
17Makoto Hasebe 77'
8Daisuke Matsui 64'
2Yuki Abe
7Yasuhito Endo
16Yoshito Okubo 77'
18Keisuke Honda
Substitutes
23Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi
1Seigo Narazaki
6Atsuto Uchida
13Daiki Iwamasa
15Yasuyuki Konno
10Shunsuke Nakamura 64'
20Junichi Inamoto
14Kengo Nakamura
9Shinji Okazaki 77'
11Keiji Tamada 77'
19Takayuki Morimoto
12Kisho Yano
Team Stats
Holland Japan
1 Goals 0
0 Assists 0
9 Shots 10
5 Shots on Goal 3
3 Saves 4
0 Penalties Scored 0
0 Penalty Kicks 0
23 Crosses 15
4 Corner Kicks 5
2 Offsides 1
18 Fouls Committed 11
1 Cautions/Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
CommentaryTeam StatsPlayer Stats Shotchart
Holland
No. Player G YC RC GA Svs
1M. Stekelenburg - 0 0 0 3
2G. Van der Wiel 0 1 0 - -
3J. Heitinga 0 0 0 - -
4J. Mathijsen 0 0 0 - -
5G. Van Bronckhorst 0 0 0 - -
6M. Van Bommel 0 0 0 - -
7D. Kuyt 0 0 0 - -
8N. De Jong 0 0 0 - -
9R. Van Persie 0 0 0 - -
10W. Sneijder 1 0 0 - -
23R. Van der Vaart 0 0 0 - -
Substitutes
17E. Elia 0 0 0 - -
20I. Afellay 0 0 0 - -
21K. Huntelaar 0 0 0 - -

Japan
No. Player G YC RC GA Svs
21E. Kawashima - 0 0 1 4
2Y. Abe 0 0 0 - -
3Y. Komano 0 0 0 - -
4M. Tanaka 0 0 0 - -
5Y. Nagatomo 0 0 0 - -
7Y. Endo 0 0 0 - -
8D. Matsui 0 0 0 - -
16Y. Okubo 0 0 0 - -
17M. Hasebe 0 0 0 - -
18K. Honda 0 0 0 - -
22Y. Nakazawa 0 0 0 - -
Substitutes
9S. Okazaki 0 0 0 - -
10S. Nakamura 0 0 0 - -
11K. Tamada 0 0 0 - -
CommentaryTeam StatsPlayer Stats Shotchart

Players
No.Number
GGoals
AstAssists
SHTSShots
SOGShots on Goal
CKCorner Kicks
CRCrosses
OffOffsides
FCFouls Committed
FSFouls Suffered
YCYellow Cards
RCRed Cards
GAGoals Against
SvsSaves
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