World Cup Player Ratings: Denmark 1-3 Japan

Japan cruised to victory in Rustenburg and rates the players on show...

Sorensen: 3 -
When Denmark needed one of their most experienced campaigners to be as safe as houses, he was hesitant and indecisive. He was leaden-footed and found wanting with his positioning. Incredibly for someone with 89 caps, his confidence drained away after conceding the first two goals.

Jacobsen: 5 -
The fullback got well forward in the opening stages but looked slow and off the pace once the Japanese attackers grew into the game. His mediocre performance could be attributed to a lack of club football in recent times.

Kroldrup: 5 -
Coming in for the suspended Kjaer, his lack of pace in comparison to the Palermo star got him into trouble against the tricky Japanese forwards Okubo and Honda. He didn't help himself with some erroneous distribution from the back.

Agger: 6 -
Like his centre-back partner, he struggled to deal with the pace and lively movement of Honda. He was somewhat of a menace once playing as an emergency striker and he did win a penalty for his side.

Simon Poulsen: 5 -
The AZ left-back began nervously and showed that he is very much a makeshift in this position. Despite being told by Morten Olsen that he wouldn't make an international winger, he was arguably his side's most potent attacking threat, which isn't saying much.

Rommedahl: 5 -
The flying winger was ostensibly targeted by the Japanese who swarmed around the Ajax man and as such he failed to repeat his fine form from the first two group games.

Christian Poulsen: 5 -
More commonly known for his destructive attributes, he displayed an excellent range of passing from deep as he sought to play in Denmark's midfield runners and forwards. When the Japanese began to dictate more, he began to show the uglier side of his game

Jorgensen: 4 -
Not the flying winger of old, Morten Olsen sought to use his experience in the middle of the park but he never got a foothold in the game as he was replaced before the break.

Kahlenberg: 4 -
Not a memorable evening for the Wolfsburg midfielder who has seen his star fall in recent times. He was devoid of ideas and creativity and it was no surprise when he was replaced by the prodigious talent of Eriksen.

Tomasson: 5 -
An eventful and mixed match which will probably prove to be his best for his country. He was never found wanting for effort despite his side's struggles in attack. Was rewarded for his endeavours with a goal after he had his poor penalty saved.

Bendtner: 3 -
A pathetic showing from the Arsenal striker who was completely toothless in attack. His lacklustre performance was symbolised by his abject attempt from a free kick at the start of the second period and his booking for petulant dissent. Perhaps he had the same lunch as Sorensen as his movement was almost non-existent. Denmark have more chance of winning the World Cup than Bendtner does of becoming the best striker in the world.

Substitutes :

Jakob Poulsen: 4.5 -
Brought on in the first-half, he offered little apart from a reasonable shot from distance but was often too deep to have an impact on proceedings.

Larsen: 6 -
The Toulouse striker made a nuisance of himself in the air and almost scored with a cracking volley that hit the bar. With a good record in qualifiers, why didn't he start?

Eriksen: 5.5 -
Ajax's young starlet injected pace and urgency into the game and displayed the fearless attitude his side were crying out for since the goal.


Kawashima: 7 -
In sharp contrast to his opposite number, he did all the basics well and showed bravery to dive at the feet of Danish attackers. Just what any side needs in a pressure-cooker situation.

Komano: 6 -
A solid game from the right-back who was rarely troubled defensively down his right flank. He got up and down his side thanks to his terrific engine.

Tulio: 7 - 
The Brazilian-born centre-half relished the aerial battle and was equal to almost everything the Danes threw at him. His excellent positioning and awareness ensured that Tomasson was driven crazy by the end of the game.

Nakazawa: 8 - 
Alongside Tulio, the veteran from the 2002 World Cup was commanding in the defence though he did have more on his plate once Larsen was introduced. He launched himself at any ball that came his way and though not sporting the armband, led from the front. Made mincemeat of Bendtner in the air.

Nagatomo: 7.5 -
The left sided defender had a big job against Rommedahl's pace and trickery and he snuffed out Denmark's biggest danger superbly. He also had the confidence to foray forward. An unsung hero of tonight's performance.

Abe: 7 -
He complemented the more expressive players in the midfield excellently and was everywhere in front of his defence, utilising his experience and know-how. Even had the confidence to go forward on occasion.

Matsui: 8 -
He was brilliant in the midfield, winning the ball and delivering it to those further forward. A number of his exquisite passes penetrated the Danish defence like a knife through butter. On this evidence, he won't be at Grenoble next term.

Endo: 8 -
The twice Asian Player of the Year scored a glorious free kick and always made himself available to receive the ball. He dictated the tempo of the game perfectly, always knowing when to slow things down and when to turn things up a notch.

Hasebe: 7 -
A hard working performance from the captain who like Matsui revelled playing against a Danish defence that at times had more holes than a block of cheese. In addition he was disciplined in both his positional play and in the tackle. His performance was marred by a needless push to concede a soft penalty.

Honda: 9 -
The CSKA midfielder answered the call of his country for a striker after coach Okeda stated he believed Japan lacked a frontman. He oozed star quality throughout and scored a truly magnificent free kick. His movement caused plenty of problems in an unfamiliar lone striker role, relieving the pressure upfield and he was able to either draw the foul or bring his team-mates into play. Not solely a flair player, he was able to mix it with the physically imposing Agger and Kroldrup.

Okubo 6 :
Largely stationed over on the left hand side, he was lively without ever seriously constituting an attacking threat but to his credit he hassled and harried the opposition and helped to form the first line of defence.


Okazaki 6 :
The striker scored a goal after he was brilliantly set up by Honda which will stand him in good stead should Japan need to chase the game against Paraguay

Konno :

Inamoto :