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.
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.
“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.
Dutch have to be pleased with the fact that after 2 group matches, they have a maximum 6 points.
Overall, a deserved win by the Dutch.
They need Denmark to win or draw against Cameroon to qualify.
The referee was good, I thought
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.
An excellent strike by Sneijder but the Jabulani curse striked again
Rocket from Sneijder, wow… simple case of pure power off of the volley.
Good 1st half from the Japanese, should be interesting to see what Netherlands does to change things up in the 2nd half.
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.
Japan is looking good, they need a velvet touch on a shot on goal.
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).
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.
I thought that might have been the case… now back to this morning’s game
I was just joking.
After I read your comment, immediately, the referee gave holland a free kick which I thought was fair challenge by the Japanese.
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.
You have to wish for it?
Here is the first bad refereeing call
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.