Japan vs. Cameroon - Group Match

Japan had a good start to the FIFA world cup 2010 humbling Cameroon 1-0. It was a lacklustre performance from Cameroon - never really looked like a team performance in its first game in the world cup. The Africans struggled to possess the ball and generate any rhythm up front, and even when they put a few passes together, the buildup usually was wasted by poor crosses.

After a sloppy first 30 minutes, Japan broke the tie in the 39th minute when Daisuke Matsui's curling cross from the right drifted over the heads of Cameroon defenders Nicolas Nkoulou and Stephane Mbia. The ball fell to Honda at the back post and the striker neatly controlled it and sent it past goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou.

Cameroon's first shot on goal came in the 37th minute, when Eric Choupo-Moting dropped the ball at the top of the box for Eyong Enoh. But Kawashima easily handled the midfielder's low drive. Japan's stiff defense frustrated Cameroon and kept Eto'o in check. Cameroon looked lost in the midfield, and clearly missed the creativity of Alex Song, who coach Paul Le Guen kept on the bench. Eto'o tried to played a more active role in the second half. Just after the break, the Inter Milan striker deftly skipped through three defenders near the touch line before drawing the ball back for Choupo-Moting. But Coupo-Moting's right-footed shot drifted past the left post. Defender Stephane Mbia nearly tied it for Cameroon in the 87th minute, but his long drive hit the left post.


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