The Netherlands became the first team to qualify for the round of 16 at the World Cup, beating Japan 1-0 Saturday and then watching Denmark defeat Cameroon 2-1.
The two-time World Cup finalists, who also became the first European team to earn six points from its first two games at this year's tournament, dictated play but still did not display the kind of fluid football that fans have been expecting to see."Why do we focus on good football instead of winning?" Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said. "Let me assure you that we really, really want to win and if we can do that in style then great. But you have to be able to win ugly games."
The Netherlands reached the World Cup final in 1974 and 1978, but lost both times.
Argentina, which is in Group B, is the only other team in the tournament with six points from two matches, but the South Americans have yet to qualify for the next round.