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Japan 1-0 Cameroon World Cup 2010 Group E

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Stand aside Africa, this is Asia’s year! Since World Cup 2010 is held in Africa for the first time, the six African teams participating in the World Cup as well as African football in general are under the microscope. Everyone expecting something special from the African teams. But, it is Asia, or more specifically East Asia of all continents which is flourishing really rapidly in the Rainbow Nation. After South Korea had defeated Greece quite comfortably by 2-0 scoreline, now it’s Japan’s turn to defeat Cameroon, a team which I predicted to do well in this World Cup 1-0, and now Cameroon is in a grave danger of not being able to go through the Group Stage. It was an utterly frustrating night for Cameroon, filled with extremely stupid tactical set-up right from the start of the match, as well as another stupid and irrational tactics when they are trailing all the way to the end of the match. It was Cameroon self-destructed actually, to be fair to the Cameroon players. It was simply frustrating to watch how Cameroon’s talented and supposedly great squad was turned to a squad of clowns in front of the gallant samurais.

As all of us have accustomed by now, the first half of this match was just like any first half from the other matches. A very cautious, drab, insomnia-curing, as well as cagey affair. Both teams simply canceled each other almost throughout the first half except for when Cameroon’s defenders made a huge and extremely costly mistake in allowing Keisuke Honda to be unmarked and had all the time in the world to score the goal which turned out to be the one separating both teams. To start off the Honda puns which would fill the next day’s headlines all over the world, I would love to be the first to declare that Honda car has beaten the indomitable lions in a race to victory! I had a gut feeling prior to the match that if Honda scores the winning goal, there will sure be a plethora of Honda car puns the next day, and it turned out to be just that. Amazing.

When the second half started, I was for one really disgusted and equally baffled by the fact that Paul le Guen did not alter his irrational strategy of the first half when he played Eto’o as a right winger. It was such a waste of a world beating player at the peak of his powers and that his strong point in the game is scoring goals and to lift the teams. This is compounded by the fact that Eto’o is Cameroon’s star player and captain who carries the whole nation on his shoulders. It was puzzling that Eto’o was left to rot on the right flank. Also, when they are trailing, Cameroon decided to play the long ball game in search of the equalizer. Smart move against a group of supposedly short and fragile Japanese players? Hell no, with tall and bulky defenders such as Tulio, Yuki Abe, and Nakazawa, their long ball approach was totally redundant and utterly useless. To add to the baffling facts, Cameroon players, including Eto’o who was wasted on the right flank are short and thus playing the long ball against the tall Japanese defenders was a suicidal move to say the least.

Japan clearly did the proverbial parking the bus in front of the goal, and there might have been an invisible bus parked in front of their goal, and one more bus in front of it. Cameroon was totally clueless. No matter how many redundant and useless long balls they launched into the penalty box, the tall Japanese players easily head the ball away. Strange thing? Still no change at all in terms of tactics. Eto’o still being wasted on the right and long ball tactics continued.

Another strange thing was that, maybe the Japanese players were indeed fragile, or was it a time wasting and cunning tactics, but when the Cameroon players come near the Japanese players, they fell down so easily like flies being exposed to insecticide. Totally no way through for Cameroon even though they did hit the bar late on. So unfortunate, but they destroyed themselves in the match.

Cameroon is now totally in danger of being knocked out in the Group Stage as they face Denmark and the Netherlands for their remaining matches. Judging from their ridiculous tactics and their weak play in this match, I don’t think they will be able to get anything from Denmark and Netherlands. Goodbye Cameroon…  and congratulations to Japan for winning their first ever World Cup game outside of their country and they just need to at least get a point from Denmark and Holland to progress and creep ever closer to Takeshi Okada, their manager’s targets of reaching the semi-finals. The manager was laughed at from all over. But now, who dares to laugh at him now? For that matter, who dares to laugh at the East Asians, with North Korea expected to surprise Brazil as well if the Samba boys are not careful in their Group G opening match.

Written by cp

15/06/2010 at 00:16

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