Soccer : Danish Victory over Cameroon Puts Dutch Through

Pretoria, June 20 (DPA) Denmark came from behind to beat Cameroon 2-1 Saturday, helping the Netherlands become the first team to reach the Round of 16 in the World Cup and eliminating the Africans.

Inter Milan superstar Samuel Eto'o give Cameroon the lead after just 10 minutes at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, but Nicklas Bendtner equalized in the 33rd minute and Dennis Rommedahl scored the winner on the hour.

The result left the Netherlands, who beat Japan 1-0 earlier in the day, top of Group E on six points, enough for them to qualify for the knock-out stage. Denmark moved to three points, the same number as Japan, whom they meet in a crunch match Thursday.

Cameroon have zero points after two matches and will head home after their final game against the Dutch, becoming the first team to be eliminated from South Africa 2010.

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen made three changes to the line-up that lost 1-0 to Japan in their opening game. Midfielder Jean Makoun was dropped as well as 21-year-old forward Eric Choupo Moting and 18-year-old midfielder Joel Matip.

Instead, the four-time African champions went with veteran Geremi as well as Arsenal's Alexandre Song - a surprise omission against Japan - and Achille Emana of Betis Sevilla in the offensive midfield.

After a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands, Danish boss Morten Olsen swapped Jesper Gronkjaer and Jon Dahl Tomasson for benched Thomas Kahlenberg and Thomas Enevoldsen with Feyenoord forward Tomasson taking over the captain armband from Martin Jorgensen.

Denmark opened the match with the first scoring chance with Rommedahl beating the Cameroon offside trap but shooting just over the framework in the seventh minute.

Cameroon, however, grabbed the lead in the 10th minute after a mistake by Christian Poulsen, who wanted to pass to the left wing only to see the ball intercepted by Pierre Webo. The Mallorca forward then found in the middle Eto'o, who gave Danish keeper Thomas Sorensen no chance.

The Africans nearly doubled the advantage just three minutes later but Emana's long low blast went just wide left.

Neither side challenged the opposing goal until Denmark equalised in the 33rd minute through Bendtner. A long diagonal pass by Simon Kjaer in the back landed at the feet of Rommedahl on the right side and the Ajax Amsterdam star crossed to the centre where Arsenal's Bendtner poked the ball past a helpless Cameroon keeper Hamidou Souleymanou.

Tomasson was close to scoring in the 42nd but his shot was blocked while at the other end Eto'o's attempt from just inside the edge of the area banged off the left post.

Cameroon were just inches from pulling ahead again seconds after the re-start but Stephane Mbia's header went over the bar. And Daniel Jensen cleared a dangerous loose ball three minutes later.

But it was the Danes who went ahead 2-1 in the 61st minute in a fine solo action by Rommedahl, beating substitute Makoun on the right side and then sending his left foot shot past Souleymanou towards the far left post.

The Cameroon keeper made a superb save on Tomasson in the 71st and Sorensen came up with a great stop of his own seven minutes later, barely fending away Emana's shot on the counter attack. The Stoke City keeper proved impenetrable the rest of the game despite a furious finish by the Africans.


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Title: Soccer : Danish Victory over Cameroon Puts Dutch Through

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