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Honda leads Japan past Cameroon 1-0

By The Assam Tribune

BLOEMFONTEIN, June 14 (Agencies): Japan earned its first World Cup victory on foreign soil on Monday when Keisuke Honda scored in the first half for a 1-0 victory over uninspired Cameroon in Group E of the World Cup.

After a sloppy first 30 minutes, Japan broke the tie in the 39th minute when Daisuke Matsui's curling cross from the right drifted over the heads of Cameroon defenders Nicolas Nkoulou and Stephane Mbia. The ball fell to Honda at the back post and the striker neatly controlled it and sent it past goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou.

Despite an attack led by Samuel Eto�o, Cameroon never really challenged Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima. The Africans struggled to possess the ball and generate any rhythm up front, and even when they put a few passes together, the buildup usually was wasted by poor crosses.

Japan is tied with Germany atop the Group. Its only previous victories in a World Cup came against Russia and Tunisia in 2002, when it was co-host of the tournament.

Cameroon�s first shot on goal came in the 37th minute, when Eric Choupo-Moting dropped the ball at the top of the box for Eyong Enoh. But Kawashima easily handled the midfielder�s low drive.

Japan�s stiff defense frustrated Cameroon and kept Eto�o in check. Cameroon looked lost in the midfield, and clearly missed the creativity of Alex Song, who coach Paul Le Guen kept on the bench.

Eto�o tried to played a more active role in the second half. Just after the break, the Inter Milan striker deftly skipped through three defenders near the touch line before drawing the ball back for Choupo-Moting. But Coupo-Moting's right-footed shot drifted past the left post.

Defender Stephane Mbia nearly tied it for Cameroon in the 87th minute, but his long drive hit the left post.

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Honda leads Japan past Cameroon 1-0

BLOEMFONTEIN, June 14 (Agencies): Japan earned its first World Cup victory on foreign soil on Monday when Keisuke Honda scored in the first half for a 1-0 victory over uninspired Cameroon in Group E of the World Cup.

After a sloppy first 30 minutes, Japan broke the tie in the 39th minute when Daisuke Matsui's curling cross from the right drifted over the heads of Cameroon defenders Nicolas Nkoulou and Stephane Mbia. The ball fell to Honda at the back post and the striker neatly controlled it and sent it past goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou.

Despite an attack led by Samuel Eto�o, Cameroon never really challenged Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima. The Africans struggled to possess the ball and generate any rhythm up front, and even when they put a few passes together, the buildup usually was wasted by poor crosses.

Japan is tied with Germany atop the Group. Its only previous victories in a World Cup came against Russia and Tunisia in 2002, when it was co-host of the tournament.

Cameroon�s first shot on goal came in the 37th minute, when Eric Choupo-Moting dropped the ball at the top of the box for Eyong Enoh. But Kawashima easily handled the midfielder�s low drive.

Japan�s stiff defense frustrated Cameroon and kept Eto�o in check. Cameroon looked lost in the midfield, and clearly missed the creativity of Alex Song, who coach Paul Le Guen kept on the bench.

Eto�o tried to played a more active role in the second half. Just after the break, the Inter Milan striker deftly skipped through three defenders near the touch line before drawing the ball back for Choupo-Moting. But Coupo-Moting's right-footed shot drifted past the left post.

Defender Stephane Mbia nearly tied it for Cameroon in the 87th minute, but his long drive hit the left post.