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Posted by Casper Stopa on 06/24/2010

With the kick-off less than one hour away, here´s my quick prediction for the Danish starting line-up and a result.

Most likely, Morten Olsen is going to stick with the same side that beat Cameroon with the exception of Simon Kjær, who is suspended. He will be replaced by Per Krøldrup, but the only other thinkable change concerns the left hand side.
Jesper Grønkjær started the last game, but does not look like he can play a full 90 minutes, and also he is a more attacking player than for instance Thomas Kahlenberg, and coach Olsen might just want to avoid fielding to many attacking players in this all important match.
But I reckon it´s a 50% chance of Grønkjær starting nonetheless, because of his routine.

The result? Denmark can not use a draw at all, and Japan doesn´t strike me as a team that defends throughout an entire match. In other words, I think there might be goals in this one!
2-1 for Denmark, goalscorers Nicklas Bendtner and Jon Dahl Tomasson (we had one unlikely goalscorer last time with Rommedahl, why not two in a row)?

Let´s hope for a good game from both sides...with a Danish win to see us through!


Posted by Casper Stopa on 06/24/2010

This just in! Kahlenberg IS replacing Grønkjær on the left, otherwise it´s the same line-up as vs Cameroon.

Posted by Gautam Jayasurya on 06/24/2010

Want Japan to win at all cost. Gambare Japan.

Posted by Casper Stopa on 06/24/2010

Half time update; Denmark is trailing 0-2 on two freekicks from Honda and Endo!

The Japanese is playing a 4-6-0 (!) formation, so their goals had to come from freekick...and so they did. The Danish combination play looked quite good, and then...goal Japan! So we put up a bit up a fight...goal Japan! Very, Very frustrating, and the Danish defence, which is usually our rock-solid foundation, is looking seriously shaky!

Martin Jørgensen was replaced after half an hour with Jakob Poulsen who might bring some energy and some good long-distance shooting to our game, but we really need to see Søren Larsen and Jesper Grønkjær on the field. Larsen because he´s twice as tall as any Japanese and an aggressive player, and Grønkjær because on a good day, he is the best one-on-one player we´ve got.

Can it still happen, a win for Denmark? Yes! But we desperately need a quick goal in the beginning of the second half; if Japan can get two goals from freekicks, we can get two from headers!

Posted by Casper Stopa on 06/24/2010

Let me be the first to say it. Cheap, cheap penalty! And Tomasson actually misses id, got injured and then scored on the follow up! He looked very poor, but finally got that goal, that makes him the most scoring Danish international alongside with Paul "Tist" Nielsen. Now please retire!

Can we get two more? Not likely, but I have everything crossed...!

Posted by Casper Stopa on 06/24/2010

And we´re out. 3-1 Japan, good goal set up by Honda, scored by Okazaki. And that, as they say, is that...

Posted by Casper Stopa on 06/24/2010

As this will be the last note from me, I am trying not to sound to bitter, but...

Japan won the game 3-1, with the Danes looking uninspired save from the first ten minutes, and the Japanese playing well.

Incidently, I have to say, we must be the only nation who, in advance, learns how to say "congratulations" in japanese, just in case we loose! Danes must be the nicest, dumbest people in the world to do that, thanks Liniger!

So, we´re out of the World Cup, having lost twice and won once. With so many talented players, that is quite simply not good enough.

On a final note, best danish player has to be Daniel Agger; 15 second to go of extra-time, 3-1 down, and he is still going for it! That´s what you need on a day where things just aren´t going your way, mirth! Today, we just did not have what it takes to make the second round.

Allready looking forward to 2012, in the meantime let´s hope for a great World Cup!

Posted by Kei on 06/25/2010

"There will be goals scored in this game, I feel; just a matter of who gets the first, then ultimately, who gets the most."

Just as I predicted...

The Danes never quite recovered from the shock of conceding two set-piece gems, and looked well out of sorts even after the penalty.

I thought it was very telling that the captains' performances mirrored the overall performances of the team. Hasebe was lively and tenacious throughout for Japan, while Tomasson was pretty shocking for Denmark. Him coming up limp after barely redirecting the rebound from his penalty miss into the net just about summed up his (and Denmark's) night.

That said, I think you're still in good shape come 2012, with players like Bendtner figuring to improve further. Best of luck to you guys moving forward.

P.S. There's always the consolation of watching Caro bring home the Wimbledon trophy ;)

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