Robben makes immediate impact

Holland make it three wins from as many Group E matches with victory in their dead rubber against Cameroon.

Holland's Robin van Persie, left, has an attempted shot charged down by the Cameroon defence last night.
Powered by automated translation

CAPE TOWN // Holland made it three wins from as many Group E matches with victory in their dead rubber against Cameroon. With Holland already through to the last 16 and Cameroon out, it took Robin van Persie's 36th-minute flash of inspiration to get things going. Samuel Eto'o's second-half penalty levelled matters until substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar's 82nd-minute winner continued the group winners' momentum heading into a last-16 clash with Slovakia.

Holland came into the match on an unbeaten run of 21 international matches and had produced wins against Denmark and Japan to secure their progression to the last 16. Rafael van der Vaart dragged one wide for Holland early on and Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou fired a weak effort at Maarten Stekelenburg. Dirk Kuyt picked up a needless booking before Van Persie could only fire straight at Hamidou Souleymanou after brilliantly setting himself up by chesting down Giovanni van Bronckhorst's chip forward.

In the 31st minute Cameroon midfielder Jean Makoun headed over from Geremi's cross before Kuyt dragged one wide for Holland. The crowd had something to cheer after 35 minutes when Van Persie opened the scoring, firing between Souleymanou's legs. After five minutes of the second half Mark van Bommel played a nice sweeping ball forward for Van Persie which his colleague wastefully hit straight at the goalkeeper.

Van Persie was withdrawn before the hour mark with Huntelaar coming on. Cameroon's best chance came moments later when substitute Vincent Aboubakar's clever reverse pass found Makoun but the midfielder was denied by a Dutch defender. Cameroon were then handed a 64th-minute penalty by referee Pablo Pozo when Van der Vaart raised his arm to block Geremi's free-kick. Eto'o kept his nerve to convert a perfect spot-kick.

Van Bronckhorst was then harshly booked for pulling down Aboubakar. Stephane Mbia headed over from a set-piece before Cameroon boss Paul Le Guen made substitutions of his own, with veteran Rigobert Song getting a brief taste of his fourth World Cup tournament. Meanwhile, Robben's strip-tease down to his playing kit excited the crowd before he came on for Van der Vaart. He made an impact quickly, too, cutting inside and firing a trademark left-footed shot which hit the post and fell to Huntelaar to restore his side's lead. * Agencies Man of the match: Wesley Sneijder (Holland)

Group E
Country M W D L GF GA Pts
Holland 3 3 0 0 5 1 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 0