Japan Advances to Final World Cup 16

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24: Shinji Okazaki of Japan (C) celebrates scoring his team's third goal with team mates during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group E match between Denmark and Japan at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 24, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

    Spectacular first-half goals by Keisuke Honda and Yusuhito Endo helped lift Japan to a 3-1 win over Denmark on Thursday, sending the Japanese into the round of 16 at the World Cup.

    The Danes, who replied in the 81st when Jon Dahl Tomasson tapped in the rebound from his own penalty kick, failed to advance from the group stage for the first time in four World Cup appearances.  Shinji Okazaki scored an insurance goal in the 87th minute for the Japanese.

    Japan's first two goals came from free kicks less than 15 minutes apart, as it collected its second win in Group E. The Japanese finished with six points compared to three for third-place Denmark. Cameroon was last in the group.

    The Japanese have now reached the knockout round for the second time. They also advanced in 2002 when they were tournament co-hosts. Japan will face Paraguay in Pretoria on Tuesday in the second round.