Finally in the 38th minute Japan makes Cameroon pay for a poor defensive decision and takes a 1-0 lead. Looked like the back defender didn’t trust the central defender to clear the cross—turns out he was right about that—but when the ball went by both of them the Japanese attacker had little trouble trapping and shooting on net. The keeper might have done better staying tall rather than going down, but it’s not like there was much he could do.

The good news is that this hopefully opens up what heretofore has been a tedious affair as both sides appeared to gain little offensive space. It’s unlikely that Cameroon will push men forward too early, but they’ll have to at some point which should yield interesting soccer at least in the 2nd half.

Cameroon gets a great chance early in the 2nd and hits it wide. Neither of these teams has impressed me particularly. Cameroon pushes guys forward in the last 15 minutes and slams one off the post, but can’t get the job done and falls to Japan 1-0. Better second half than first, but I don’t see either team doing much against the likes of the Netherlands. The game against Denmark will be telling for both squads, however.