Holland 1-0 Japan
Wesley Sneijder (53′)
The first half was fortress Japan as the Asians defended well and didn’t let the Europeans do much at all. The second half necessitated a more open match because Sneijder scored early. He shot hard from the edge of the box, his shot was not properly handled by Japan goalie, Eiji Kawashima, as the ball made its way behind him. Japan tried to break down Holland and came reasonably close on a few occasions. Holland themselves had a few more clear cut chances of their own, especially by substitute Ibrahim Afellay. In the end Holland gained the three points without too much trouble.
Ghana 1-1 Australia
Asamoah Gyan (pen 25′) Brett Holman (11′)
The Game started brightly for Australia and they soon scored from a freekick. Kingson the Ghana goalie let the ball shot at goal rebound in front of him and Holman rushed and slotted it high into the back of the net. Soon after that Ghana actually grew in confidence and took control. Good play by Ayew, a cross later and a shot towards goal struck Kewell’s hand. Although he tried to plead innocence he had gifted Ghana a penalty and also got himself sent off. Asamoah sent Mark Schwarzer the wrong way and converted the penalty. Ghana continued to be the more dangerous team as the half ended all square at 1-1. The second half saw hints of more confidence or perhaps desperation by the socceroos as they made offensive subs to bolster their chances. Despite being one man up Ghana didn’t take much advantage but had their own share of solid possession.
Denmark 2-1 Cameroon
Nicklas Bendtner (33′) Dennis Rommedahl (61′) Samuel Eto’o (10′)
The game started with Eto’o taking up a much needed more offensive and direct position, it immediately paid off as he managed to score after a rather bad giveaway/bad pass from Christian Poulsen. A lot of opportunities followed, many due to questionable defendoing courtesy of both teams. Before the half Bendtner poked one in when Rommedahl, after receiving a 50+ yard ball from Kjaer, stormed down the wing and crossed into the area. Cameroon could claim to have the edge at half time and Eto’o hit the post late on too, courtesy of another one of the aforementioned questionable lapses. The second half saw an increasingly desperate contest that lacked defensive focus. This led to the second Denmark goal as Rommedahl curled one in to score inside the far post. More misses followed as the African challenge suffered another set back.