Saturday, June 19, 2010

World Cup 2010 Game 26: Denmark 2, Cameroon 1

And Cameroon becomes the first team mathematically eliminated. That supports my notion of parity. Five of the eight groups have finished their second game and only 1 of the 20 teams is out.

Denmark becomes only the second team to record a come from behind victory. (Well, three if you count the United States which...ah, let it go...). In tracking the other story, Cameroon's loss means that the African nations now have 1 victory in 11 tries and that was on a late hand ball leading to a penalty kick in the Ghana-Serbia match.

Cameroon will play a meaningless game against the Netherlands (whose only job will be to make sure they don't get anyone sent off and banned for the first game of the knockout stage). Denmark, meantime has a showdown with Japan. Because of Japan's two goal difference in their win over Cameroon, the Danes will have to win the game to advance while Japan can play for a tie. Will they?

This game had an early goal and a lot of up and down action. Both of the Denmark goals were well struck. (In some ways the Danish sides reminds me of the American side--some shaky defense but competent players who will execute well.) Cameroon's best player hit the post late in the second half. It's funny how often the post gets hit in soccer and hockey. Or maybe it really isn't that often, but it feels memorable. What's odd is that you very rarely see a ball hit the inside of the post and deflect in.

The winner of Denmark-Japan gets the second place finisher amongst Italy, Paraguay, Slovakia, and New Zealand. Any of those matches would look fairly even to me.

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