Group E Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, Saturday June 19 13.30 SA Time
Wesley Sneijder, FIFA Man of the Match, was the hero of the day for Holland, scoring the only goal of a match with few opportunities, due to the organization of the Japanese team, on 53’.
Holland had the possession, 61% to 39% but the Japanese closed behind the ball, inviting the Dutch to make a mistake and counter with lightning counter-attacks. Japan, however, had 10 shots to Holland’s 9 and 5 corners to 4.
The first half can be summarised by a shot from Matsui on 38’ and one from Van der Vaart on 45+1’, both saved by the goalkeepers. In the second half Holland came out more determined, and on 46´, Kawashima saved a strike from Van Persie, who on 53’ found Wesley Schneijder on the edge of the area. 1-0.
On 75’, Okazaki, who had come on for Hasebe, blasted over from close range.
Holland: Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathusen, V. Bronckhurst, V. Bommel, Kuyt, de Jong, Van Persie (Huntelaar), Sneijder (Afellay), Van der Vaart (Elia)
Japan: Kawashima, Abe, Komano, Tulio, Nagatomo, Endo, Matsui (Nakamura), Okubo (Tamada), Hasebe (Okazaki), Honda, Nakazawa