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World Cup: Netherlands vs. Japan (Your Running Commentary)

Netherlands crest   Japan Crest

The two teams atop Group E kickoff Saturday's festivities at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, and the winner between the Netherlands and Japan (7:30am, ESPN) will be all but assured advancement into the knockout stages.

The Netherlands head into the match as the heavy favorites, but Japan showed in its first match that it is capable of upsetting teams. Keisuke Honda enjoyed a solid World Cup debut, and his play will be key if Japan wants to have a shot at stunning Wesley Sneijder and the Dutch.

If you'll be watching today's match, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and play-by-play in the comments section below.


  1. Here what I think of the game

    Japan played strictly defensive in the frist half with a dominant Dutch possession. They were playing for a tie. They only started attacking after they conceded a goal.

    Even after that, the Dutch had the more dangerous opportunities to score. Afellay and Huntelaar should put the game beyond any doubt.

    At no point of the game, the Dutch looked vulnerable to concede a goal, at least to me.

  2. “Overall, a deserved win by the Dutch.”

    You sure you are spelling your name right? Shouldn’t it be Guus? 🙂

    Thought Japan very unlucky not to get a point – saw no dominance at all from a team picked as a dark horse to win it all against a team considered a bit lucky to even be there.

    Unlucky by Japanese keeper, little bit unlucky by Japan not to tie it late.

  3. There most certainly was a swerve of the ball at the last moment towards the center of the goal that left the keeper with no chance to properly handle/punch the ball.

  4. The Japanese players just seem to be physically weaker, but this time they have more spirit than we have seen since 2002! The Japanese announcers are worried though, saying that the Dutch have underestimated them with their formation and that in the second half things are going to be much harder to get forward.

  5. Japan playing wonderfully disciplined defense, I think. Really working together.

    Late in the half they are even adding a little attack to the mix – this could be interesting (in a “looking for the upset” kind of way).

  6. The refs were fantastic for the first couple games, making good calls on some difficult decisions (Mexico’s first “goal” against South Africa). They really have been disappointing recently. I agree, these players shouldn’t have to work for 4 years to get here and then worry about whether or not a ref is going to ruin it all for them.

  7. Not sure what you are trying to say, I was just trying to say that I look forward to the discussions regarding the World Cup returning back to being about the beautiful game rather than officials.

  8. Hope to see a game day where the officials aren’t the story of the day as they were yesterday with the Germany/Serbia & US/Slovenia debacles.


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