Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa

Referee: H├ęctor Baldassi | Attendance: 62010

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  • Wesley Sneijder 53'

1 - 0


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  • 90'

    Make sure you head over and read our match report for all the gory details of the game.

  • 90'

    It means Netherlands will be through as long as Cameroon do not win tonight.

  • 90'

    It wasn't great by Netherlands, but they definitely deserved the win.

  • 90'


  • 90'

    It was De Jong who bundled into Nagatomo. It looked a penalty at first but the replays show the ref was correct.

  • 90'

    Penalty! No, no. That looked like a penalty to Japan, the ref pointed forwards but it was for a goal-kick and not a spot-kick.

  • 90'

    We;ve played one of three added minutes.

  • 90'

    Oooooooh! The ball is headed on into the area, Okazaki is in the clear and he should have levelled but he blazed it over.

  • 89'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Netherlands have only won a World Cup match 1-0 once before, against Serbia & Montenegro in 2006.

  • 89'

    Afellay should have two now, but I don't think it is going to cost Holland.

  • 88'

    Huntelaar takes possession, Afellay takes it off his toes and breaks into the box, this time his shot gets past the keeper but Tulio (eventually) clears.

  • 87'

    SUB: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is on for Robin Van Persie.

  • 86'

    Time is ticking away for Japan.

  • 85'

    Afellay gets free down the line and breaks into the box, his touch is too heavy which allows Kawashima to come out and smother. That should have been two.

  • 85'

    De Jong trips Abe.

  • 84'

    Van Persie tries a but of trickery down the line but is marshalled by four defenders, and they eventually steal the ball back.

  • 83'

    SUB: Wesley Sneijder is off, on comes Ibrahim Afellay.

  • 83'

    Honda crosses from the right, it's just beyond Tulio.

  • 82'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Netherlands have won all eight of their competitive games in which Sneijder has scored.

  • 81'

    Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder (10) celebartes with team-mates.

  • 80'

    Nakamura cust inside and tries to find Nagatomo down the line, but Nagatomo's control is poor and it's a goal-kick.

  • 79'

    Van Der Wiel crosses from the right, only hits Tulio.

  • 78'

    Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder celebartes.

  • 77'

    Elia almost gets Van Persie through on goal, Kawashima reads it and comes out to collect.

  • 76'

    SUB: Double change for Japan: Yoshito Okubo and Makoto Hasebe are replaced by Shinji Okazaki and Keiji Tamada

  • 75'

    Netherlands to win, with bet365  
    Japan to win, with bet365  

  • 75'

    Netherlands seem to be back in control now.

  • 74'

    Van der Vaart has an ice pack on his knee. We may see more of Elia against Cameroon.

  • 73'

    Elia played really well against Denmark. Hopefully he can produce some more trickery.

  • 72'

    SUB: Rafael Van der Vaart is replaced by Eljero Elia.

  • 71'

    Komano gets into a good crossing position and puts it straight out. What a waste.

  • 70'

    Endo crosses from the left, Van Persie tries to clear and slices it over his own crossbar. That could easily have gone in the back of his own net.

  • 69'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Sneijder has two goals in his two games against Japan and three in his last four games overall.

  • 68'

    Sneijder crosses from the left, there's too much on it and it goes over Van Persie's head.

  • 67'

    The free-kick was give, though. Van der Vaart's delivery was terrible and the ball doesn't make it to the box before being cleared.

  • 66'

    Van Persie goes down holding his foot after a tangle with Okubo. He'll be fine.

  • 65'

    Another effort from Okubo, this time his low, curling shot goes wide of the keeper's left post.

  • 64'

    SUB: Shunsuke Nakamura for Daisuke Matsui

  • 63'

    Japan are a different side now, unrecognisable from the one before the goal.

  • 63'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Japan have never won a World Cup match when letting in the first goal.

  • 62'

    Endo takes, it's flicked on by Abe but straight to Stekelenburg.

  • 61'

    Van der Vaart fells Nakazawa. Free-kick and a chance to put it into the mixer.

  • 60'

    Netherlands to win, with bet365  
    Japan to win, with bet365  

  • 60'

    Japan have three corners in total but create nothing.

  • 59'

    It's taken short to Matsui and it results in another corner.

  • 59'

    Corner to Japan, Endo goes over to the left to take.

  • 58'

    Japan have stepped up their game, they clearly came to Durban for a point.

  • 57'

    Another shot from Okubo, this time it goes over.

  • 56'

    ESPN Stats & Info: That's the seventh goal from outside the box at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

  • 55'

    So, we have a game at long last and the Dutch deserved it from the way they came out after the break.

  • 54'

    Okubo shoots from 23 yards out, it's weak and easy for Stekelenburg.

  • 53'

    GOAL! Van Persie lays a pass back to Sneijder who belts it home from 20 yards. It was a howler by Kawashima, who got a hand to it but it was a weak effort at keeping the shot out.

  • 53'

    Sneijder takes, and it's Tulio who heads away again.

  • 52'

    Another corner to Netherlands. They are starting to get control of the game now.

  • 52'

    The corner comes in and Tulio is there once more to head out of the box this time.

  • 52'

    Sneijder purposefully stands five yards offside, trying to cause carnage. Great cross from Van der Vaart and Tulio has to flick it behind.

  • 51'

    Tulio is penalised for blocking Van Persie. Seemed a bit harsh. Free-kick on the right and a chance to put it into the box.

  • 50'

    Great ball over the top from Van Bommel, Van Persie has got in advance of Nakazawa but his first-time shot is weak and wide.

  • 49'

    The ball is worked wide the Van Brockhorst, who plants a cross onto the head of Van Persie but there's not power in the effort and Kawashima collects.

  • 48'

    Sneijder's shot is well blocked by Endo

  • 47'

    Mathijsen guards the ball out for a goal-kick under pressure from Matsui.

  • 46'

    And the second half is underway.

  • 45'

    Netherlands to win, with bet365  
    Japan to win, with bet365  

  • 45'

    Endo is giving a quick peptalk to the Japan players - who also get in a huddle.

  • 45'

    It seems we have no changes to either side.

  • 45'

    The players are about to come back out. An exciting 45 minutes is ahead of us.

  • 45'

    If anyone is doing the Panini sticker album, I just need 52, 108 and 364.

  • 45'

    If you want to relive Friday's nightmare, then Richard Jolly finds few positives from a shockingly bad England performance against Algeria.

  • 45'

    Comment from Tom Adams: Netherlands have enjoyed plenty of possession but have no cutting edge. Surely Van Marwijk needs to summon Robben or Elia from the bench.

  • 45'

    I'd like to say this game must get better, but I'm not sure it will. Maybe Robben and Elia could transform it.

  • 45'

    And there it is, the half-time whistle and thank the Lord for that.

  • 45'

    One minute to be added on.

  • 44'

    I'm hoping half-time will bring about a change of tactics. It's probably going to bring nothing more than a cup of tea and a chocolate bourbon.

  • 43'

    Honda has Van Bronckhorst backtracking, he tries to feed in Okubo in the area but plays the pass behind him.

  • 42'

    It's 40 yards out. Honda shoots ... a waste of everyone's time.

  • 41'

    De Jong trips Okubo, free-kick midway inside the Dutch half

  • 40'

    We're being treated to several fascinating slow-mo replays. There's nothing else to show.

  • 39'

    Finally some good play by Japan, they never really seem confident in the move but Matsui gets a shot in after some poor control. It's on target! The first of the day! But very easy for the keeper.

  • 38'

    Endo takes the free-kick deep into the area, Tulio rises highest but heads wide.

  • 37'

    Gregory Van Der Wiel - he blocked off Matsui.

  • 37'

    It's Sneijder who chips it in, nowhere near an orange shirt.

  • 37'

    Now a free-kick to Netherlands. Way out, almost 40 yards.

  • 36'

    Gregory Van Der Wiel of Netherlands evades the tackle by Yasuhito Endo.

  • 35'

    Endo swings it into the box, he finds the unmarked Honda but he can only manage to head way over the bar. Four shots.

  • 34'

    Free-kick to Japan. It's 35 yards from goal. Oooooh!

  • 33'

    Van Brockhorst gets a knee in the chest from Komano, he's winded slightly.

  • 32'

    Last night was a late one watching the dreadful England performance. A game like this was not what I needed.

  • 31'

    Van der Vaart just escapes his man over on the left, but his cross hits Nakazawa in the face.

  • 30'

    Netherlands to win, with bet365  
    Japan to win, with bet365  

  • 30'

    Nakazawa is caught late by Van der Vaart, free-kick.

  • 29'

    Three shots in almost half an hour, all off target.

  • 28'

    It truly is a stinker, it must get better.

  • 27'

    ESPN Stats & Info: In their first match Japan attempted the fewest shots (three) of any team since Saudi Arabia v Germany in 2002.

  • 26'

    Van Persie tried to fend off Nakazawa with his hand, and Nakazawa goes down clutching his face. Nowhere near his face, and the ref isn't fooled.

  • 25'

    Netherlands striker Dirk Kuyt vies with Japan's midfielder Yuki Abe.

  • 24'

    Stekelenburg and Van Der Wiel have just spent 30 seconds deciding whether or not to take the goal-kick long. It's fascinating stuff.

  • 23'

    Japan are happy to let Netherlands have possession. And Netherlands don't seem too bothered about moving it upfield.

  • 22'

    You will be able to get the thoughts of our man in Holland, Ernst Bouwes, later today. We're not sure what he'll be writing about. There's nothing here.

  • 21'

    You may detect from the lack of updates that nothing is happening. Whatsoever.

  • 20'

    Foul by Van Persie on Tulio.

  • 19'

    Neither keeper has had anything to do yet. It's going to be another one of those games I fear.

  • 18'

    It's gone a little scrappy. Hoepfully not for long.

  • 17'

    Keisuke Honda vies with Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong.

  • 16'

    We have our first Mexican Wave...

  • 15'

    Netherlands to win, with bet365  
    Japan to win, with bet365  

  • 15'

    Nagatomo trips Van Persie, free-kick on the right flank and another chance to deliver. Tulio heads it away but the ref spotted a foul anyway.

  • 14'

    ESPN Stats & Info: In the first eight minutes of the match, Netherlands attempted 77 passes compared to just 13 by Japan.

  • 13'

    Nagatomo gets forward, and fires wide from the edge of the box. Not the worst effort we'll see today.

  • 12'

    Komano is patched up and back on.

  • 11'

    It comes back in, Kuyt goes for the overhead kick but he fails to make a proper connection.

  • 11'

    Nice play from Holland, but Kuyt overhits his cross.

  • 10'

    Sneijder stands over it, considering his options. He goes for the shot but it's always rising over.

  • 9'

    Komano got a boot in the face when Van Persie went down. He's off on a stretcher. Will he be back?

  • 9'

    Van Persie is caught by Matsui. Holland try to take the free-kick quickly but the ref wasn't ready. Dangerous, 25 yards from goal.

  • 8'

    ESPN Stats & Info: Holland have won their three World Cup games against Asian sides, scoring 10 goals in the process.

  • 7'

    Netherlands have already completed as many passes as England seemed to do last night.

  • 6'

    Van der Vaart plays in the corner from the right, and Tulio is there to head to safety.

  • 5'

    Van Persie plays in a deep cross from the left and Nagatomo is forced to head behind

  • 4'

    Netherlands enjoying a lot of early possession.

  • 3'

    Now Honda is felled, by Van Bommel. And the ref just has a few words with De Jong and Hasebe, telling the players to calm down.

  • 2'

    Van der Vaart is fouled by Honda, free-kick in their own half.

  • 1'

    It's Netherlands to kick-off.


    Japan are unchanged, too, a sign of confidence after that opening win.


    The national anthems have been played out, so now on to the match.


    Japan also won their opening group game, against Cameroon, so a win for either side would put them in the box seat for a place in the second round.


    Arjen Robben remains on the bench as the Dutch are unchanged after their win over Denmark.


    Welcome to the live commentary for the game between Netherlands and Japan.


    Join us at 1130 GMT to see if Netherlands and Japan can continue their good starts in the competition.



Goal Shot Video
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Netherlands

  • 9(5)

  • 21

  • 18

  • 61%


  • Japan

  • 10(3)

  • 14

  • 11

Match Stats

  • Netherlands
  • Japan
9(5) Shots (on goal) 10(3)
18 Fouls 11
4 Corner kicks 5
2 Offsides 1
61% Time of Possession 39%
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 4

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