Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Referee: Olegário Benquerença | Attendance: 31600

* Local time based on your geographic location.


  • Keisuke Honda 39'

1 - 0


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  • 95'

    And that's your lot, make sure you head over to read the report - and join us again as defending champions Italy take on Paraguay at 1830 GMT.

  • 95'

    What a strange game that was. Japan offered next to nothing going forward but grabbed a vital goal while Cameroon looked far better in most departments but couldn't find a cutting edge. Why Eto'o spent the entire 90 minutes on the right wing I'll never know.

  • 94'

    Full time! Japan celebrate like they've already reached the second round!

  • 94'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Forty-nine total fouls in this match is the highest combined total at this year's World Cup.

  • 93'

    Geremi's excellent low cross is turned towards goal Eyong but Kawashima makes a good low save. The ref had blown for a foul it seems though.

  • 92'

    Eto'o heads for goal and shoots but Tulio is in the way.

  • 91'

    YELLOW CARD: Yuki Abe is carded for kicking the ball away.

  • 90'

    Cameroon have four added minutes to find a goal....

  • 89'

    This would be a hammer blow for Cameroon. I'm going out on a limb but I reckon if they don't score in the next three minutes their tournament is all but over.

  • 88'

    SUB: Hasebe goes off and Inamoto is on for Japan. Remember him?

  • 87'

    Honda cuts in and has a pop but Souleymanou spills a regulation shot, much like Rob Green did, but luckily for him it squirms out sideways.

  • 86'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Lowest possession for a winning team so far this tournament? Ghana with 48% - Japan are currently on 45%.

  • 85'

    What an effort from Mbia! He's thumped a shot against the bar from 25 yards. The 'keeper was nowhere. That was hit like a rocket.

  • 84'

    A decent run from Honda in a rare break from Japan. Cameroon are pumping it long for Idrissou now.

  • 83'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Japan have never scored a World Cup goal past the 75th minute. Cameroon have scored three goals past the 75th minute.

  • 82'

    Hasebe turns and forces Souleymanou into a smart save before Okazaki's follow up crashes against the post.

  • 81'

    SUB: Okubo is trudging off for Japan and Kisho Yano will get ten minutes or so.

  • 80'

    Geremi's free kick is punched clear by Kawashima and as Cameroon rebuild Eto'o ball for Geremi seems to ignore the fact the former Chelsea player has no turn of pace whatsoever.

  • 79'

    Tanaka is penalised for what looked like a good tackle. Free kick wide right for Cameroon.

  • 77'

    All of a sudden it opens up for Idrissou and Cameroon are teo on two but the striker's touch was horrible and Tanaka gets across.

  • 76'

    Cameroon have made three changes now and still Eto'o remains on the right flank.

  • 75'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Cameroon to win, with bet365  

  • 75'

    SUB: Changes for Cameroon: Geremi and Idrissou come on for Choupo-Moting and Makoun.

  • 74'

    Japan are now operating with ten players behind the ball.

  • 73'

    Eto'o lays off to Emana but he is slow on the uptake and wastes possession.

  • 72'

    Endo's free kick is awful. Straight out of play from the left edge of the box.

  • 71'

    Okazaki buys a free kick off Nkoulou, who is booked for his trouble. Its outside the left of the box.

  • 70'

    Emana tries to do too much as he charges towards the edge of the box. He had options too. Its all getting a bit desperate for Paul Le Guen's side.

  • 68'

    SUB: Matsui goes off and Okazaki is on as Japan make their first change.

  • 67'

    Komano does well to chield the ball from Choupoo-Moting and win a free kick.

  • 66'

    Cameroon spread the ball wide but Webo's ball for Choupo-Moting is overhit and it is a corner rather than anything more.

  • 65'

    Emana tries to wriggle his way into the area as he links with Eto'o but Tanaka clears.

  • 63'

    SUB: Matip makes way for Emana as Cameroon make their change.

  • 62'

    Kawashinma came out to try and punch the ball and all he has succeeded in doing is punching his team-mate Tanaka.

  • 61'

    Nakazawa gets a head on the ball from a Cameroon free kick and the Lions have a corner.

  • 60'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Cameroon to win, with bet365  

  • 60'

    Comment from JC: Cameroon have looked the better side but if they are going to open Japan up they need Eto'o up front. Defeat here would mean they'd need something from their game against Holland, which will be tricky.

  • 59'

    Achille Emana is getting stripped on the Cameroon bench.

  • 58'

    Assou-Ekotto is crowded out by the corner flag as he broke down the left. We haven't seen much from him going forward, unlike when he turns out for Tottenham.

  • 56'

    Choup-Moting picks the ball up on the left before cutting inside and unleashing a shot but it dribbles wide of the near post.

  • 54'

    Decent approach work from Japan until Matsui's cross is way over Honda's head. Better from Cameroon in this half but still only that one chance of note for them.

  • 53'

    Super cross from Mbia but Webo can't get his header on target.

  • 52'

    Eto'o and Choupo-Moting link again but Tanaka blocks the latter's shot.

  • 51'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Eleven of Cameroon's 15 World Cup goals have come in the second half of matches.

  • 50'

    That was Eto'o's first real involvement in the game and he nearly manufactured a goal. Still can't help but feel he should be up front though.

  • 49'

    Cameroon's first real chance after Eto'o gets into the box on the right, he pulls it back but Choupo-Moting's side-footed effort curls narrowly wide of the far post. Great chance.

  • 48'

    Okubo gets into the area chasing Hasebe's ball but takes it wide and is fouled by Bassong. Right on the touchline, just outside the box.

  • 47'

    An early corner for Cameroon after a decent move down the left, but it comes to nothing.

  • 46'

    We begin again...

  • 45'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Cameroon to win, with bet365  

  • 45'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Japan has never scored a goal in both halves of a World Cup match.

  • 45'

    Keisuke Honda nets an unlikely goal for Japan, in their first real attack.

  • 45'

    During the break, make sure you head over and read Matthias Krug's excellent insight into North Korea - who are playing Brazil on Tuesday.

  • 45'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Japan has netted three goals in six World Cup matches on foreign soil compared to five goals in four World Cup matches in Japan.

  • 45'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Thus far 76% of Japan's attacks have come from the right hand side compared to a paltry 4.3% from the left.

  • 45'

    That is half time and there have been two surprises. One, we have a goal, two, it was Japan who scored it.

  • 44'

    Two minutes added in this first half.

  • 43'

    Cameroon must be shellshocked after that. Japan hadn't even registered a shot on goal before their goal. Astonishing.

  • 41'

    Well, the game has sprung to life and it is all thanks to Japan's main man Honda. The simplest of finishes after the ball fell loose.

  • 39'

    GOAL Japan have scored and its Honda who has poked home from close range after a cross fell loose. We have a goal!

  • 38'

    Cameroon striker Eric Choupo-Moting lands on top of Japan defender Yuichi Komano

  • 38'

    Finally, some space opens up but Assou-Ekotto's touch was woeful and Tanaka cleared.

  • 37'

    Assou-Ekotto whips in a decent cross but in the pinball that follows on the edge of the box Matip is penalised for a foul.

  • 35'

    A good run from Eto'o and a slip of a ball from Makoun but Kawashima shanks a clearance away. Then Eyong fouls Komano.

  • 34'

    Tanaka launches a ball forward but Hasebe was offside. Again.

  • 33'

    As I say that a mildly promising move from Japan ends with an Assou-Ekotto clearance at the back post.

  • 32'

    Cameroon are going to have to throw numbers forward here because Japan are sitting deep in numbers. And there was their coach saying he was committed to attacking. Hmm.

  • 31'

    The 'keeper is back on his feet. He wanted a free kick but Webo was nowhere near him. The ref tells him to jog on.

  • 30'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Cameroon to win, with bet365  

  • 30'

    Assou-Ekotto whacks the free kick long and as 'keeper Kawashima goes up for it he spills the ball before landing full on his back. That looked painful.

  • 29'

    Assou-Ekotto is too quick for Matsui and wins a free kick on the left.

  • 27'

    Matsui collects Hasebe's ball but can't get a cross in, as Japan rebuild Honda does but Souleymanou grabs it. The ball had gone out though, according to our eagle-eyed slash flag-happy assistant.

  • 26'

    A brief flurry of interest as Matsui makes a run in behind Assou-Ekotto but is flagged offside by the assistant.

  • 25'

    Nakazawa gets out of jail after hesitating in possession. Choupo-Moting impeded him unnecessarily.

  • 23'

    Cameroon are trying to force the pace now. Japan are offering very little going forward.

  • 22'

    Here comes the first Mexican wave of the game. That tells you all you need to know about the lack of action on the field.

  • 21'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Neither Japan nor Cameroon have ever come back to win after conceding the first goal at the World Cup.

  • 20'

    A right old scramble in the box as Souleymanou spilled Matsui's cross, before he and Honda wrestle for the loose ball in a rather ungainly fashion. After all that, the flag had gone up.

  • 19'

    Cameroon harried Hasebe there and Webo won the ball but Eyong's ball for Eto'o was massively overhit.

  • 18'

    Comment from JC: ''Surprised that Alex Song isn't playing for Cameroon. Rested apparently, but they look like they are lacking some bite in central midfield.''

  • 16'

    Matsui's cross is right into the arms of Souleymanou.

  • 15'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Cameroon to win, with bet365  

  • 15'

    Webo wins the ball and charges into Japan's half but his ball is poor when he had numbers up in support. Its nearly but not quite from both sides so far.

  • 14'

    Choupo-Moting has a pop but Komano blocks his effort.

  • 13'

    Honda tried to sneak past Bassong as Matsui's long throw found its way into the box but Souleymanou came out to claim.

  • 12'

    Now Eyong fouls Honda and Japan can try and build an attack.

  • 11'

    Assou-Ekotto wins a goal kick as Matsui chased him down. He's sporting a bunchy pony tail is the Spurs left back.

  • 10'

    A poor ball from Hasebe, Honda was in space and wanted it to feet.

  • 9'

    According to our commentators, Japan coach Takeshi Okada is giving up after the World Cup to be a farmer. No wonder his team's approach has been rather agricultural so far. Athankyou.

  • 8'

    Danger in the Japanese box as Kawashima flaps at a free kick but no yellow shirt can profit from his error.

  • 7'

    A vaguely threatening ball over the top from Yuki Abe is collected by Souleymanou before Webo pulls a ball across goal but Choupo-Moting can't get a shot off.

  • 5'

    Very little to report in the opening five minutes I'm afraid. It'll burst into life any minute now though, have no fear.

  • 4'

    Nakazawa hammers a ball right through to Cameroon 'keeper Souleymanou. A surprise that regular starter Idriss Kameni, of Espanyol, is on the bench.

  • 3'

    Stephane Mbia gets a bang in the face but sympathy is in short supply from the referee, who just walks him off the field and plays on.

  • 2'

    Eto'o has taken his place on the right side of a 4-3-3 formation, where he operated largely for Inter this season.

  • 1'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Japan are unbeaten in three meetings against Cameroon, winning twice. Cameroon have never scored a goal against Japan.


    We are underway in Bloemfontein. Let the goals rain down.


    Both national anthems are belted out with predictable pride, and the weather is chipper. Quite a few empty seats but don't think that means there is any let up in the vuvuzela stakes - oh no no no.


    The teams are in the tunnel and instantly noticeable are the yellow and black studded boots of Japan midfielder Yuki Abe. He'd better have a decent game now.


    One of Japan's best known players, Shunsuke Nakamura, only makes the bench, but their main man these days is Keisuke Honda, who had a very good season with CSKA Moscow. He's their driving force if you will. Terrible, I know.


    Despite recent harsh words from Roger Milla - that legend of Cameroon's 1990 World Cup team - Samuel Eto'o takes his place up front against Japan. He has helped his nation to two African Nations Cup triumphs after all and won a treble with Inter Milan this year. Perhaps surprisingly, Alex Song only makes the bench.


    Before we get underway in 20 minutes, why not take a look at our preview for the game.


    Good afternoon one and all and welcome to a game that truly demonstrates the worldliness of the World Cup. Its Japan v Cameroon in Group E from the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.


    This game starts at 14.00GMT so join us shortly before then for the full match coverage. Check out the Japan coach and player quotes ahead of the game.


    Why not download the iphone application by clicking here.

Goal Shot Video
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Japan

  • 3(2)

  • 23

  • 20

  • 42%


  • Cameroon

  • 9(2)

  • 19

  • 29

Match Stats

  • Japan
  • Cameroon
3(2) Shots (on goal) 9(2)
20 Fouls 29
0 Corner kicks 3
4 Offsides 2
42% Time of Possession 58%
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
2 Saves 1

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