Japan 3, Denmark 1 // The Netherlands 2, Cameroon 1: The Danes usually have one really stinky game in the tournament, but it’s usually not in the first round. The score could have easily been 6-1. This continues the trend of the Cup so far, which is that European teams are overrated and in decline, much like their governments. Must be something about the penny-pinching, budget deficit-fetishizing mindset. Soccer favors the bold, and/or the Keynesians. In the other game, Holland won again, and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions proved to be easily dominated. There is no justification to have any more reps in the World Cup from Africa than what CONCACAF currently gets; so far, three of the five African contestants to have completed group play have finished last.
Because of the mediocre calibre of teams coming out of Group F, winning Group E doesn't really do a whole lot for the Dutch, at least in the second round, where they will play Slovakia on Monday. Equally mediocre Paraguay has a date with surprising Japan on Tuesday. I am unaware of any prior match-ups between these four non-rivals, so expect to see at least ninety minutes of soccer, with varying amounts of inspiration.