World Cup - Group C
JapanJapan0GreeceGreece0

World Cup: Japan 0-0 Greece

By Graham ChaseBBC Sport
Highlights: Japan 0-0 Greece

Japan and 10-man Greece played out a stalemate that keeps alive both teams' chances of progressing from Group C.

Greece captain Konstantinos Katsouranis was sent off for two bookable offences before the break in Natal.

The Greeks went close with a second-half header from Theofanis Gekas, which was saved by Eiji Kawashima.

Yoshito Okubo missed from just a couple of yards and Atsuto Uchida also prodded wide from a good position as Japan were left frustrated.

The draw leaves both teams on one point heading into the final round of group matches.

Japan face Colombia, who have already qualified with six points, and a win could still take them above Ivory Coast, whose current tally is three points.

Fernando Santos's Greeks must defeat the Ivorians and hope that Japan's result gives them a chance to finish in second place.

Whatever the permutations, a second goalless draw of the tournament offered little to suggest that either of these sides can qualify for the last 16.

Although Panagiotis Kone threatened when he surged forward from halfway and forced a low save from Kawashima, Japan were in control of possession from the start.

Yuya Osako curled wide from 25 yards and Keisuke Honda's free-kick was thwarted by Orestis Kanezis' scrambling save before Yoshito Okubo headed over from Yuto Nagatomo's cross.

Shortly after recalled Fulham striker Konstantinos Mitroglu had limped off with an injury, Katsouranis was sent off for a lunge at Makoto Hasebe.

That seemed to spark Greece and defender Vaileios Torosidis' powerful effort was pushed away by Kawashima before the same player missed with a header from a Georgios Karagounis free-kick.

Georgios Samaras missed narrowly with an effort straight from the kick-off for the second-half.

Despite being a man down, the Greeks continued to have the better chances and Kawashima showed real quality to push a Gekas header around a post from a Georgios Karagounis corner.

Midway through the second half, Japan should have moved in front when Atsuto Uchida's fine cross was driven well wide by Okubo from just a couple of yards.

Uchida then stabbed wide after the Greeks failed to clear and Maya Yoshida almost diverted a driven cross on target.

Yashito Endo had a free-kick saved in the final minute and Santos' side were able to hold out for a draw but neither side looks likely to make it beyond the group stage.

Greece coach Fernando Santos:

"My players were brilliant, They worked hard after the red card. Without the red card we probably would have won the game."

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos:

"It was a terrible start, losing a man but we have a point and we have hope.

"If things go well, let us get four points with a win in the next game - and if God decides that we are eliminated because of the other result, so be it."

Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni:

"We played too slowly. This is not a positive result. We absolutely needed to win."

Konstantinos Katsouranis
Katsouranis has been sent off in three of his last 16 appearances for club and country
Konstantinos Mitroglou
Fulham striker Konstantinos Mitroglou limped off after 34 minutes.
Eiji Kawashima
Greece have failed to score in seven of their eight World Cup matches
Japan fans
Both teams could still reach the knock-out phase

Line-ups

Japan

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Kawashima
  • 2Uchida
  • 5Nagatomo
  • 16Yamaguchi
  • 22Yoshida
  • 15Konno
  • 13Okubo
  • 17HasebeBooked at 12minsSubstituted forEndoat 45'minutes
  • 18OsakoSubstituted forKagawaat 57'minutes
  • 4Honda
  • 9Okazaki

Substitutes

  • 3G Sakai
  • 6Morishige
  • 7Endo
  • 8Kiyotake
  • 10Kagawa
  • 11Kakitani
  • 12Nishikawa
  • 14Aoyama
  • 19Inoha
  • 20Saito
  • 21H Sakai
  • 23Gonda

Greece

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Karnezis
  • 15TorosidisBooked at 88mins
  • 20Holebas
  • 21KatsouranisBooked at 38mins
  • 4Manolas
  • 19Papastathopoulos
  • 2Maniatis
  • 8KoneSubstituted forSalpingidisat 81'minutes
  • 9MitroglouSubstituted forGekasat 35'minutes
  • 18FetfatzidisSubstituted forKaragounisat 42'minutes
  • 7SamarasBooked at 54mins

Substitutes

  • 3Tzavellas
  • 5Moras
  • 6Tziolis
  • 10Karagounis
  • 11Vyntra
  • 12Glykos
  • 13Kapino
  • 14Salpingidis
  • 16Christodoulopoulos
  • 17Gekas
  • 22Samaris
  • 23Tachtsidis
Referee:
Joel Aguilar
Attendance:
39,485

Match Stats

Home TeamJapanAway TeamGreece
Possession
Home74%
Away26%
Shots
Home18
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home23
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Japan 0, Greece 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Japan 0, Greece 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Maya Yoshida (Japan).

  4. Post update

    Sokratis (Greece) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Yasuyuki Konno (Japan).

  6. Post update

    Dimitrios Salpingidis (Greece) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Maya Yoshida (Japan).

  8. Post update

    Orestis Karnezis (Greece) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yasuhito Endo (Japan) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  10. Booking

    Vasilis Torosidis (Greece) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Vasilis Torosidis (Greece).

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. José Holebas (Greece) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Georgios Samaras.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Yasuyuki Konno (Japan).

  14. Post update

    Georgios Samaras (Greece) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Maya Yoshida (Japan).

  16. Post update

    Georgios Samaras (Greece) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Maya Yoshida (Japan) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Yuto Nagatomo following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yuto Nagatomo (Japan) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Japan. Conceded by José Holebas.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Georgios Samaras (Greece) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Giorgos Karagounis with a cross following a corner.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil21103124
2Mexico21101014
3Croatia21015323
4Cameroon200205-50

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands22008356
2Chile22005146
3Australia200236-30
4Spain200217-60

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia22005146
2Ivory Coast21013303
3Japan100112-10
4Greece100103-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Costa Rica11003123
2Italy11002113
3Uruguay210134-13
4England200224-20

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France11003033
2Switzerland11002113
3Ecuador100112-10
4Honduras100103-30

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Argentina11002113
2Iran10100001
3Nigeria10100001
4Bos-Herze100112-10

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany11004043
2USA11002113
3Ghana100112-10
4Portugal100104-40

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium11002113
2Russia10101101
3South Korea10101101
4Algeria100112-10
View full World Cup tables

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