By Tony Ubani, in South Africa
Japan earned its first World Cup victory on foreign soil Monday when Keisuke Honda scored in the first half for a 1-0 victory over uninspired Cameroon in Group E of the World Cup.
After a sloppy first 30 minutes, Japan broke the tie in the 39th minute when Daisuke Matsuiâ€™s curling cross from the right drifted over the heads of Cameroon defenders Nicolas Nkoulou and Stephane Mbia. The ball fell to Honda at the back post and the striker neatly controlled it and sent it past goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou.
Despite an attack led by Samuel Etoâ€™o, Cameroon never really challenged Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima. The Africans struggled to possess the ball and hardly generated any rhythm up front, and even when they put a few passes together, the buildup usually was wasted by poor crosses.