The Dutch national team has won its second match of the 2010 World Cup, defeating Japan 1-0 thanks to a goal by former Ajax player Wesley Sneijder. After this win, the Dutch team has six points.
National team coach Bert van Marwijk started the same eleven players as for the 2-0 win against Denmark. Maarten Stekelenburg and Gregory van der Wiel were therefore on field at kick off time. The two Ajax players remained the only Amsterdam based ones during this match, since Demy de Zeeuw – who came in as a substitute during the Denmark match – remained on the sidelines.
The Dutch weren’t convincing during the first half, but struck in the second half, just as they had against Denmark. A tough shot from Wesley Sneijder – named Man of the Match by FIFA – was tapped by keeper Kawashima into his own goal, making it 1-0. The disciplined Japanese didn’t cause many problems for the Dutch team. It wasn’t until the closing phase that Japan had a chance at an equalizing goal, but Tanaka’s shot went high.
On the other hand, the Dutch team’s substitutes came close on a few occasions to padding the lead. Ibrahim Affelay came into prime position twice, but the opposing keeper stood in the way both times. Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who came in for Robin van Persie, made the most of the short field time he had left (about five minutes). The score remained unchanged, and Stekelenburg kept his clean sheet.
On Thursday evening, the Netherlands will meet Cameroon. Denmark and Cameroon will play later today. A draw in this match would assure the Netherlands of a spot in the next round.
Netherlands - Japan 1-0
Goals: 53. Sneijder 1-0
Cards: Van der Wiel (yellow)
Netherlands: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst; De Jong, Sneijder (83. Affelay), Van Bommel; Kuyt, Van Persie (88. Huntelaar), Van der Vaart (72. Elia)