Stalemate in Natal as Japan unable to break down dogged ten man Greece.

Date: June 19, 2014

Result: Japan 0-0 Greece

Venue: Arena das Dunas, Natal

Attendance: 40, 267

 

Match overview: Greece have failed to score in six of their seven World Cup games. Only against Nigeria in 2010 did they manage to find the net. Keisuke Honda has been involved in four of Japan’s last five goals at the World Cup (3 goals, 1 assist). He is Japan’s top scorer in the competition (3 goals).

Key moment: The second yellow card issued to Greece captain Konstantinos Katsouranis. Given the anaemic strike forces of both teams, this was never likely to be high scoring game, but the dismissal of Katsouranis further limited the scope for attacking football.

Man of the match: Kostas Manolas. Greece were hardly under siege but they did have to defend for the bulk of the match. At the heart of their defence, Manolas was a steadying presence throughout.

Matter of fact: Greece kept a clean sheet for the first time in their 8 World Cup finals matches. With 74%, this was the most possession Japan have ever enjoyed at a World Cup match.

Talking point: The goalless draw did little for either Japan or Greece’s chances of reaching the knockout stages, but it did confirm Colombia’s place in the last 16.

 

Stats:

Goal attempts

  • Japan 16
  • Greece 9

On target

  • Japan 11
  • Greece 5

Corners

  • Japan 5
  • Greece 7

Line-ups:

Japan:

  • 01 Kawashima
  • 02 Uchida
  • 05 Nagatomo
  • 16 Yamaguchi
  • 22 Yoshida
  • 15 Konno
  • 13 Okubo
  • 17 Hasebe (Endo – 45′ )
  • 18 Osako (Kagawa – 57′ )
  • 04 Honda
  • 09 Okazaki

 

Greece:

  • 01 Karnezis
  • 15 Torosidis
  • 20 Holebas
  • 21 Katsouranis
  • 04 Manolas
  • 19 Papastathopoulos
  • 02 Maniatis
  • 08 Kone (Salpingidis – 81′ )
  • 09 Mitroglou (Gekas – 35′ )
  • 18 Fetfatzidis (Karagounis – 42′ )
  • 07 Samaras Booked

 

Red card:

Greece:

  • Katsouranis 38

Yellow cards:

Japan:

  • Hasebe 12

Greece:

  • Katsouranis 27 +38 Samaras 55, Torosidis 89

 

Referee: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador)