Friday, 25th June 2010
Japan beat Denmark to reach World Cup knockout stages
Japan reached the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time on foreign soil after beating Denmark 3-1 in Rustenburg last night (Thursday).
Two free-kicks from Keisuke Honda and Yashuito Endo and a third from Shinji Okazaki were enough to see the Blue Samurai go through with group E winners Holland.
Honda opened the scoring with a stunning dead-ball strike on 17 minutes, although question marks were raised against goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen's role in the goal.
Yashuito Endo doubled Japan's lead nearly a quarter of an hour later, this time curling his free kick past the Danish wall and into the back of the net.
Jon Dahl Tomasson pulled a goal back for Denmark but Japan were worthy winners and will now go on to face Paraguay in the last 16 of the competition.
Speaking after the game, Japan coach praised the spirit his team showed.
"Today our players were very courageous and were not cowardly at all. They were also really level-headed and calm under pressure, so I am grateful for this," he said.
Written by Kimberley Homer