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Netherlands First Team Into World Cup Round of 16

The Netherlands is the first football team into the round-of-16 at the World Cup in South Africa, thanks to Denmark's 2-1 win over Cameroon, which is the first team to leave the 32-team tournament.

The Netherlands beat Japan 1-0 in Durban in the first of Saturday's three matches to solidify its position atop the Group-E standings with six points. The Dutch needed Denmark to either tie or beat Cameroon to advance to the single-elimination phase.

Saturday's elimination was a crushing blow to Cameroon's Indomitable Lions, one of five African teams in addition to host-nation South Africa to qualify for the World Cup.

Also Saturday, Ghana and a 10-man Australian team played to a 1-1 draw in Rustenburg to move the Black Stars into first place in Group-D with four points, ahead of Germany and Serbia with three points each. The Socceroos are at the bottom of the group with one point.

The single-elimination round of 16 begins next week, leading toward the World Cup championship match July 11 in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium.

Dennis Rommedahl scored Denmark's winning goal in the 61st minute Saturday in Pretoria. Nicklas Bentner (33) also scored for Denmark, and Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o was first on the scoreboard with a goal in the 10th minute.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.