Pre-game: Japan vs. Cameroon
Day 4, Match 2
Japan vs. Cameroon, Group E
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Live on CBC and CBCSports.ca (9:30 a.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
If Cameroon wants to progress into the knockout round, it would do well to pick up three points against Japan. The Blue Samurai also need a win, if they want to reach coach Takeshi Okada's extremely lofty semifinal goal.
Watch the Rogers Pre-game show 30 minutes before kick-off as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.
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Injuries and suspensions
No injuries for either team.
Player to watch for Japan
Shunsuke Nakamura — Japan's most popular and recognizable player, the left-footed Nakamura has a long-ball touch that rivals the best in the business, and his precise accuracy from dead ball situations can conjure goals out of thin air.
Player to watch for Cameroon
Samuel Eto'o — He's come under some harsh (undeserved?) criticism from national team great Roger Milla, but it's hard to deny that Eto'o is still the class of Cameroon. The 29-year-old already holds the nation's all-time mark for goals (44), and his blazing speed keeps defenders awake at night.
Nakamura vs. Eto'o — These are the two players that will have the most impact on the match. Japan will live and die by Nakamura's foot, while Cameroon is nigh invincible when Eto'o scores. The game could come down to Nakamura's playmaking skills and deadly free kicks in midfield going up against the pace and surgical precision of Eto'o in front of the goal.
''If we attack the opponents where it hurts them most, it will lead to scoring chances. We want to give all we have as this event takes place just once in four years." — midfielder Keisuke Honda
"[We] are almost ready and we should not focus too much on last two outings. The most important thing is that we approach the World Cup in a better state of mind and with a lot of commitment." — striker Eric Choupo Moting
World Cup head-to-head
This will be the first meeting at the World Cup between the two sides.
All time head-to-head
- Games played: 3
- Japan: 2 wins, 0 losses, 1 draw
- Cameroon: 0 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw
- Goals: Japan 4, Cameroon 0
- Last match: Japan defeated Cameroon 2-0 in a 2-0 friendly in Oita