MATCH CENTRE

THU 19 JUNE 2014, 23:59, ESTADIO DAS DUNAS

0
VS
0

Japan and Greece in goalless draw

by Staff Reporter

Fri June 20, 02:22

Despite playing with a numerical advantage for most of the game following Konstantinos Katsouranis' dismissal, Japan could not break the deadlock as they drew 0-0 with Greece.

The stubborn defensive display by Greece saw them hold on for a scoreless draw against Japan in Natal on Thursday, which ensured that group leaders Colombia will play in the round of 16 in Brazil.

Colombia, with six points atop the group, had defeated Ivory Coast 2-1 earlier on Thursday and won a place in the knockout stages at their first World Cup since 1998.

The Japanese played the entire second half with one less player, after skipper Kostas Katsouranis was red carded seven minutes before half-time.

Katsouranis went into the book for the first time in the 27th minute when he slid into the back of Yuya Osako and his trip to halt Japan captain Makoto Hasebe's break away just 11 minutes later was the end of his match.

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni dropped Shinji Kagawa for Yoshito Okubo. Kagawa had been largely invisible against Ivory Coast but the sight of him on the bench at the Arena das Dunas was still a shock, with the playmaker having started all but one of his country's last 12 matches.

It took 10 minutes before the first genuine scoring chance was created; Panagiotis Kone powered through midfield before shooting powerfully straight at Eiji Kawashima.

Japan had over 75 per cent possession in the first half but generally struggled to test Orestis Karnezis with Okubo shooting tamely at Greece's goalkeeper and curling another effort wide either side of the 20-minute mark.

After the half time break, Zaccheroni brought on Yasuhito Endo for Hasebe in a bid to inject some creativity into Japan's line-up. Then Kagawa was recalled in the 57th minute at the expense of Osako.

But despite the two substitutions, Japan still struggled to break down Greece's stubborn defence and while they did get wide and delivered some crosses, the end product was sorely missing.

Japan continued to bombard Greece's goal, with Okubo wasting the best chance when he blazed wide in the 68th minute.

Greece desperately held on to frustrate Zaccheroni's side and leave both teams needing a win in their final game to advance from Group C.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE ESTADIO DAS DUNAS
JAPAN GOALS GREECE GOALS
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 3 1
JAPAN STARTING LINEUP GREECE STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
2
Defender
2
Defender
22
Defender
20
Defender
15
Defender
4
Defender
5
Midfielder
16
Defender
88'
15
Midfielder
12'
46'
17
Midfielder
27'
38'
21
Midfielder
13
Midfielder
81'
8
Forward/Striker
4
Forward/Striker
54'
7
Forward/Striker
9
Forward/Striker
41'
18
Forward/Striker
57'
18
Forward/Striker
35'
9
SUBSTITUTIONS
Yasuhito Endo
Midfielder
46'
7
Theofanis Gekas
Forward/Striker
35'
17
Shinji Kagawa
Forward/Striker
57'
10
Giorgos Karagounis
Midfielder
41'
10
Dimitrios Salpingidis
Forward/Striker
81'
14
CARDS
Makoto Hasebe
Midfielder
12'
17
Kostas Katsouranis
Midfielder
27'
21
Kostas Katsouranis
Midfielder
38'
21
Giorgos Samaras
Forward/Striker
54'
7
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
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