Netherlands beat Cameroon 2-1 to top Group E

08:41, June 25, 2010      

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Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon (R) vies with Khalid Boulahrouz of Netherlands during their Group E last round match at 2010 FIFA World Cup at Green Point stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 24, 2010. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

The Netherlands, already through to knockout stage, beat Cameroon, already eliminated, 2-1 in their 2010 FIFA World Cup Group E match on Thursday and finished top with three wins.

Van Persie lifted the Netherlands to 1-0 lead in the 36th minute when the Arsenal striker played a brilliant one-two with Van der Vaart in the box before firing home right-footed from a tight angle.

Both teams seemed more concerned with the performance than the result, and it was like an entertaining match.

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen from France said after the match that he would not continue to direct the team.

"We should have got better results from the World Cup," he said. "I will take all the responsibility for the elimination."

Before the game, the Netherlands beat Denmark 2-0 and edged Japan 1-0. Cameroon lost to Japan 1-0 and Denmark 2-1.

The Indomitable Lions are playing for pride and the Dutch men know a draw sees them finish top of the group.

Samuel Eto'o tied the score for Cameroon on 65 minutes, converting a penalty conceded by Van der Vaart who raised his hands to block Geremi's free-kick and the referee pointed to the spot.

Dutch star winger Arjen Robben, who missed the previous two group matches for injury, came off the bench on 73 minutes to replace Van der Vaart.

A Cameroon defending mistake gifted Robben a chance to shoot just outside the box. But the ball came back off the inside of the post and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, also a substitute, was on hand with a neat finish in the 83rd minute.

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk said,"We played very well in the first half and I felt relaxed at halftime. But situation changed from the beginning of the second half, and then I had to make some changes."

"My players played cautiously to avoid being cautioned," he added.

Replying to a question, van Marwijk said that he was not sure if Robben would start in the next game.

Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt told reporters in the mixed zone, "We play better and better. But we must be cautious of Slovakia who stunned Italy this afternoon."

In Rustenburg, Japan upset Denmark 3-1 to survive the group in the second position with six points. Denmark finished third with three points, followed by Cameroon none.

The Netherlands will take on Slovakia in the Round of 16 while Japan will face Paraguay.


Special Report: World Cup 2010


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