Germany has defeated Cameroon 2-0 in Shizuoka, while Ireland overpowered Saudi Arabia 3-0 in rainy Yokohama on Tuesday night. The results allow Germany and Ireland to advance to the round of 16 from Group E.
Ireland dominated early, and Robbie Keane got the Republic on the board in the seventh minute, converting a fine cross for the 1-0 lead. The play was more even after the opening 10 minutes and the half ended with Ireland ahead 1-0. But Ireland retook the momentum in the second half, as Gary Breen (62nd) and Damien Duff (87th) closed out the 3-0 win. Ireland coach Mick McCarthy said "we played very well the second half, that first half we were having got a great start, it's very nervous, you know, it's a big game for us, and I think frustration affected us."
At the same time in Shizuoka, Germany and Cameroon played a scoreless first half highlighted by strong goal-keeping and a flurry of nine yellow cards. Carsten Ramelow picked up two of them three minutes apart (37th and 40th) and was sent off forcing Germany finish the match with 10 men. Ramelow will also miss Germany's game in the round of 16. German coach Rudi Voeller says losing Ramelow was a turning point. "Only when we were one man down did we begin to play good football," he said. "I am of course happy for us to have gone through to the round of 16 at the World Cup, where there are very, very small differences between the participating teams."
Despite being a man down, Germany went up 1-0, when substitute Marco Bode took a beautiful through ball from Miroslav Klose and tallied in the 50th minute. Klose scored a goal of his own in the 79th to make the final 2-0.
Cameroon's loss eliminates it from the tournament. Germany wins Group E with 7 points, while Ireland finishes second and also advances to the knockout stage with 5 points.
In South Korean action Tuesday, defending champion France was eliminated with a 2-0 loss to Denmark, while Uruguay fought back from a 3-0 deficit for a 3-3 draw with Senegal. In matches played in Japan Wednesday, Argentina battles Sweden in Miyagi, while England faces Nigeria in Osaka.