Japan Italy, the Netherlands and Paraguay - two-thirds of the teams in action on Day 4 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ - have no players eligible for the Hyundai Best Young Player Award. However, Denmark gave their solitary candidate a short run-out, while three Cameroonians were handed a start. FIFA.com reflects.
Christian Eriksen: Morten Olsen threw the midfielder on in the 73rd minute, with his side one goal down. The Ajax midfielder must wish he hadn’t. Eriksen attempted seven passes but completed just one, while the score finished 2-0.
Nicolas N’Koulou: The Monaco defender did not do himself justice at Free State Stadium. While he employed his strength and pace to thwart Japanese attacks, his concentration and positional player were questionable. The Cameroon No3 also gave the ball 14 times and was booked.
Joel Matip: The 18-year-old belied his inexperience to give a mature account of himself in a 1-0 loss to Japan. He broke up a few attacks, displayed intelligent distribution and completed 29 of 37 attempted passes on the Free State Stadium turf. Substituted in the 63rd minute, the combative Schalke midfield was competent if unspectacular.
Eric Choupo-Moting: The rangy forward’s build-up play was impressive against Japan. Indeed, his control and quick feet enabled him to create a handful of chances for himself. But when Choupo-Moting worked himself openings, he fluffed them. Five shots yet none on target underlined how limp his end product was.