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Netherlands Beats Denmark, Japan Defeats Cameroon

  • Scott Bobb

The Netherlands' national football team won its first game of the football World Cup, beating Denmark 2-0 in Johannesburg. Japan defeated Cameroon 1-0 in the second game of the day.

Japan won its first 2010 World Cup match in Bloemfontein on a goal by Keisuke Honda who scored from close range in the 39th minute of play.

Japan joined the Netherlands as leaders of Group E with three points each. Netherlands beat Denmark earlier in the day with an own-goal by Danish defender Simon Poulsen in the 46th minute and a tap-in by Dirk Kuyt off a rebound in the 85th .

Frank Van Rooijen, a fan visiting from the Netherlands, said afterwards that neither side had played that well.

"It was OK. I mean it was not their (Netherlands) best match ever, but it is also the first match of the tournament," Van Rooijen said. "So I suppose they will get used to each other. But the two-nil victory can only go upwards from here, not bad, not bad."

Danish fan Morgen Bertstrand said his team had been outplayed by the Dutch.

He said he was enjoying the South Africa World Cup and that the media reports about the country's high crime rate were exaggerated.

"We have not seen anything," Bertstrand said. "Yesterday we were in Soweto for the whole day. It was perfect, really good."

Both visitors said they hoped to return to South Africa and would bring their children the next time.

Meanwhile, tournament organizers reiterated that they would not ban the vuvuzela stadium horn whose noise has brought complaints from some foreign players and television announcers.

The head of the Local Organizing Committee Danny Jordaan said the controversial horn would continue to be allowed, but warned that if it was used as an instrument of violence it would be forbidden.

Experts said the horn, when blown to excess, could damage hearing.

Vendors did a brisk business outside the stadiums selling earplugs to fans who wanted to protect their hearing from the horn that has become a symbol, though controversial, of the first African World Cup.