DURBAN (South Africa) (AFP) Wesley Sneijder fired the Netherlands to a comfortable 1-0 win over Japan and pole position in World Cup Group E here on Saturday. After seeing off Denmark 2-0 in their opening match, the Dutch now sit atop their group on a maximum six points from two games, with Japan on three points having beaten Cameroon 1-0 in their opener. Should Denmark and Cameroon draw in Pretoria later on Saturday, the Netherlands will be guaranteed a berth in the second round, but a victory for either side would mean the Oranje were still not mathematical certs to progress. The Netherlands dominated possession and territory against the Blue Samurai, who played deep in defence and were largely content to sit back while the star-studded Dutch team stroked the ball around the middle of the park. After a first-half devoid of any real scoring opportunities and with Japan on top in the final minutes, the Dutch came out firing in the second period. Japans Brazil-born defender Tulio Tanaka was called on to make four clearing headers in quick succession, but the fifth fell to the feet of Robin van Persie in the 53rd minute. Under pressure, the Arsenal striker saw the ball squirt out to the edge of the area, where it was met by the booming right foot of Sneidjer, the Inter Milan midfielder unleashing a shot which Eiji Kawashima could only deflect into the goal netting. But it was not all plain sailing for the Netherlands, who often became bogged down in midfield. Sneijder had arguably the first chance of the game, blasting a free-kick high over the goal. Daisuke Matsui impressed in midfield for Japan and saw one low shot go just past the upright of Maarten Stekelenburgs goal, the Dutch keeper then doing well to parry the Grenoble players dipping 25-metre shot. Van Persie had two decent chances early in the second-half, first seeing his header saved by Kawashima and then failing to connect with a sliding half-volley. Dutch replacement Ibrahim Afellay saw a late effort well saved by Kawashima and the defence scramble away another attempt on goal with two minutes to play. As regulation time was called, Japanese replacement Shinji Okazaki found himself with an excellent chance to level the scores, but his twisting effort in the Dutch box was blasted over the crossbar. Meanwhile, a toothless England were held to a goalless draw by Algeria on Friday to leave their hopes of World Cup survival hanging in the balance while Serbia defeated 10-man Germany. Fabio Capellos England, already under pressure after their 1-1 opener against the United States, struggled to find a way past the Algerians and gave their critics more ammunition with a bleak performance in Cape Town. Tipped as one of the favourites at the start of the tournament, England must now defeat Group C leaders Slovenia in their last game on Wednesday in Port Elizabeth to be sure of reaching the second round. Fabio Capello was at a loss to explain why a team which sailed through qualification for the World Cup is misfiring in South Africa. This is not the team I recognise from training or from qualifying, he said. We have another game to play. Its our last chance to continue in the tournament. The players know what they have to do. The big news ahead of the game was the dropping of goalkeeper Robert Green after his blunder against the USA, with David James taking over, but all Englands problems on Friday came from their inability to threaten the Algerian goal. Were not happy with the performance, we need more if we want to stay in this tournament to the later stages, we need to improve, he said.