Denmark need dynamite to progress

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RUSTENBURG — Denmark coach Morten Olsen is hoping for some traditional ‘Danish dynamite’ from his team’s attack in today’s decisive Group E clash with Japan.
Olsen, who captained Denmark when they made their impressive ‘dynamic’ debut at the World Cup finals in 1986, acknowledged Japan are well-organised and difficult opponents but said his side will treat the game as if it was a final.
“It is a decisive game, hopefully the first final for us,” said the 60-year-old. “We know what we have to do – that is the name of the game. We just have to be confident.”
After one win and one defeat each in their opening games, both nations are level on three points. For Japan, a draw would take them through to the second round for the second time, but for Denmark it would signal elimination.
Netherlands have already secured their qualification for the last 16 by beating the Danes 2-0 and Japan 1-0, while Cameroon are already out after losing twice.
Olsen said he had respect for Japan’s resilience and spirit, developed under coach Takeshi Okada, who is in charge at a World Cup for the second time after leading them in France in 1998, and expected a tight contest.
“They have a good group of players who are fighting for their country. They are proud to play for Japan,” he said. “They have a good coach who has a good knowledge of football. It won’t be easy, but we have to break them down.”
Denmark will hope to improve on their patchy form and perform with greater purpose and concentration than they did against Cameroon last Saturday when goals by striker Nicklas Bendtner and winger Dennis Rommedahl gave them victory.
They had to come from behind after Samuel Eto’o capitalised on a Christian Poulsen mistake to fire Cameroon in front. —Reuters