Greece Vs Japan, Group C - Live Score

FRIDAY 20TH JUNE - 3:30AM (LOCAL) | ESTADIO DAS DUNAS, NATAL

COMPLETED

Japan Greece

Japan: Known for their conservative and school-book play, Japan is slowly adopting a more aggressive approach. With heavyweights like Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki, 46th ranked Japan is expected to deliver a better their record of reaching the round of 16 in their fifth World Cup appearance. Alberto Zaccheroni’s young side appears to be a fairly competitive side on their given day.

Greece: The undoubted high point in Greek footballing history was their stunning triumph at EURO 2004 in Portugal, but their record at the FIFA World Cup finals is distinctly modest. They have never managed to wriggle out of the group stage. With players like the experienced Georgios Karagounis and Konstantinos Mitroglou mixed with their never-say-die-attitude they have the ability to cause another shock.

Head-to-Head

Total Matches Played: 1

Japan 1 Win, Greece 0 Win, 0 Draw

Commentary

(173 Mins)

That result means Japan and Greece are tied on one point each at the bottom for Group C. Colombia lead the way with six points, and Ivory Coast are in second with three.

(172 Mins)

Its all over. Boos ring around the stadium.

(171 Mins)

Japan are piling forward. A high ball is pumped into the area but Karlezis catches unchallenged. Greece are two minutes away from keeping their first clean sheet at a World Cup.

(168 Mins)

Karlezis saves low from Yasuhito Endo, pushing the ball out wide and away from the onrushing Japanese forwards. The 90 minutes are up, and well have four added on by the fourth official.

(167 Mins)

Japan break forward, and are one pass away from being through on goal when Torosidis brings down Okazaki, handling the ball in the process. Thatll be a yellow for the Greek defender. Free-kick in a dangerous position.

(163 Mins)

And they nearly get it! A cross is driven in, but theres too much pace on the ball for Maya Yoshida to head it goalwards. Instead it ricochets off him and out for a goal-kick.

(161 Mins)

Japan have been rather anonymous up front in this match. Theyre running out of time to find a winner...

(158 Mins)

And thats the end of the game for Kone. Fernando Santos brings him off and replaces him with Dimitrios Salpingidis.

(158 Mins)

Were into the last ten minutes. Kone goes on a mazy run down the right, earning a corner for Greece.

(155 Mins)

Karlezis makes another save, this time denying Okubo from long range. It was a good effort, but he would have been doing well to score from there.

(154 Mins)

Fifteen minutes left, and were yet to see either side open the scoring. Despite the Greeks having a player sent-off, it hasnt been completely one-sided in this second half.

(153 Mins)

Japan arent happy with the referee. Since the red card, the Greeks seem to have been getting the majority of the decisions.

(149 Mins)

Close again for Japan! Okazaki and Papastathopoulos fight for the ball just metres from goal. The ball breaks loose to a blue shirt, but the shot goes agonisingly wide. That was a poor finish.

(146 Mins)

What a miss! Kagawa finds Uchida with a lofted pass over the Greek defence. The full-back volleys the ball across goal towards Yoshito Okubo, who can only direct the ball over the bar at the back post. That was the best chance of the game by far.

(145 Mins)

Another free-kick for Japan. Another shot straight into the wall. Poor.

(143 Mins)

The physios are on again. Torosidis is down clutching his back, while Maya Yoshida has his head in his hands. Replays show the pair being clattered by Eiji Kawashima has he jumped to punch the ball clear. Ouch.

(140 Mins)

The atmosphere has picked up now that Greece are enjoying a decent period of possession outside of their own half. The drumming is back, this time joined by a trumpet. Very musical.

(138 Mins)

Greece are have a decent spell in the Japanese half. A series of corners leads to a header from Gekas, which a sprawling Kawashima is forced to deny. Fantastic save.

(136 Mins)

The Japanese fans are nervously waiting for their side to break the deadlock. The drumming from earlier, presumably from a Greek supporter, stopped a long time ago.

(134 Mins)

Shinji Kagawa is on in place of Yuya Osako. The Manchester United player has 35 minutes to make an impact.

(134 Mins)

Endo takes it, but sends the shot directly into the wall. Surely its only a matter of time before they score.

(132 Mins)

Samaras picks up a yellow for upending Yoshito Okubo. Japan have a free-kick 25 metres from goal.

(131 Mins)

Honda has another chance, this time on the edge of the box. Karagounis slides in brilliantly to deny the Asian playmaker just as hes about pull the trigger. Great defending.

(129 Mins)

Japan have a free-kick midway inside Greeces half. Endo chips it into the box, but the ball runs beyond the blue shirts and out of play for a goal-kick. Honda very nearly directed it goalwards. Unlucky.

(128 Mins)

Greece coach Fernando Santos praised his sides attacking threat in their previous game against Colombia. Hed be a brave man to urge his team onwards now that theyre a man down.

(126 Mins)

Japan made a change at half-time, bringing off Makoto Hasebe in exchange for Yasuhito Endo. It sounds as though he picked up a niggle in the first half.

(124 Mins)

Georgios Samaras restarts the game, immediately going for goal from the half-way line. His shot is off-target, but it isnt far away. Great bit of invention from the Greek forward.

(120 Mins)

Play will resume in just a few moments. Lets hope there are a few more shots on goal to talk about in the second half.

(116 Mins)

Keisuke Honda has been directly involved in his sides last five goals at the World Cup finals, scoring three and providing one assist. Incidentally, hes the first Japanese striker to score in two separate World Cup tournaments.

(112 Mins)

Greece were content to sit back and absorb the pressure before their captains red card, but theyll have no other options after the break. The European side have already used two of their three substitutions as well, so theyll only be able to bring on one set of fresh legs in the closing stages.

(110 Mins)

Japan have had 75% possession in the first 45 minutes. With a weakened opposition, that figure looks likely to go up in the second half.

(108 Mins)

The added time passes without incident. Its not a classic, by any stretch of the word.

(107 Mins)

HALF-TIME - Japan 0-0 Greece

(107 Mins)

There will be two minutes of added time.

(105 Mins)

Japan have grown in confidence after the sending off. No chances created since then, but theyre now under less pressure in the middle than they were a few moments ago.

(100 Mins)

The red card is followed by another change for Greece. Fetfatzidis is withdrawn and Georgios Karagounis comes on to replace him. The Greeks, understandably, look to be bulking up their midfield. Theyll have to play more than 50 minutes with ten men.

(97 Mins)

Unbelievable! Konstantinos Katsouranis slides in and takes out Makoto Hasebe. Hes been booked already and the referee shows him a second yellow, quickly followed by a red. Disaster for Greece.

(94 Mins)

An early change for Greece. Mitroglou has picked up a knock and is unable to continue. Theofanis Gekas is on to replace the injured striker.

(92 Mins)

Japan are having to be patient, with Greece appearing happy to sit deep in their own half. Yasuyuki Konno has had very little defending to do at the back.

(90 Mins)

Another close call for the Japanese. Keisuke Honda shoots from a free-kick 20 metres out, requiring Orestis Karlezis to dive left to palm the ball away.

(86 Mins)

Now both captains are in the book. Greece flood forward but their move breaks down before they can get a shot away. Katsouranis trips one of the counter-attacking Japanese players, and the referee produces a yellow card.

(84 Mins)

Eiji Kawashima has had very little to do so far. His side registered 70% of the possession a few minutes ago. Dominant.

(82 Mins)

Close for Japan! Its Osako again, this time curling a shot from distance just wide of the post. That wasnt far away at all.

(80 Mins)

First signs of life from Japan. They cleverly work the ball to Yuya Osako, whose snapshot from outside the penalty area is saved well by Orestis Karlezis. Fine move.

(78 Mins)

At the World Cup, Greeces defence has been equally suspect. They are still waiting to keep a clean sheet at the finals, conceding an average of 2.6 goals per game. That number is higher than any other side in the tournament. Leaky.

(76 Mins)

There has been little to talk about in the first fifteen minutes. Greece may stand a better chance of scoring against their opponents in the second half: seven of the nine goals Japan conceded in the Confederations Cup last year came after the break.

(73 Mins)

Makoto Hasebe is in the book for bringing down one of the Greek forwards. A clumsy challenge, to say the least.

(70 Mins)

First real chance of the game. Panagiotis Kone runs onto the ball on the half-way line, and drives forward before shooting directly at Japanese keeper Eiji Kawashima. It would have been some goal from that distance.

(68 Mins)

Astuto Uchida leaps up above Samaras to head a high ball, but tumbles over the Greek striker in the process. No card from the referee, although the defender gets a warning for the challenge.

(65 Mins)

First corner of the game. Jose Holebas jinks past a defender on the left, but his cross is turned behind. The ball is curled into the box, but Japan head clear and Georgios Samaras cant make anything from the loose ball.

(63 Mins)

The opening exchanges are rather tame. There are a fair few empty seats inside Estadio das Dunas, although theres a steady drum beating somewhere inside the ground.

(60 Mins)

And were off. Japan are playing in dark blue, whilst Greece are in an all-white strip.

(59 Mins)

The anthems have concluded, and the teams are ready for the start of the match. Pre-game proceedings appear to have finished early, so were just waiting for the clock to tick over the hour mark.

(56 Mins)

The only previous meeting of these two sides was in the Confederations Cup 2005, when a goal from Masashi Oguro gave Japan a narrow 1-0 win.

(56 Mins)

Greece Starting XI: Karnezis, Maniatis, Manolas, Samaras, Kone, Mitroglou, Torosidis, Fetfatzidis, Sokratis, Holebas, Katsouranis.

(55 Mins)

Japan Starting XI: Kawashima, Uchida, Honda, Nagatomo, Okazaki, Okubo, Konno, Yamaguchi, Hasebe, Osako, Yoshida.

(54 Mins)

Greece are in much the same position as their opponents, having lost their opening game to Colombia 3-0. The good news for them is that they have not been beaten in consecutive games since 2010. Fernando Santos remains optimistic about his sides chances, despite failing to score five days ago. He said: "Everyone expected we would have 11 men behind the ball, but I think what they saw was a team that likes to attack. That philosophy will not change."

(53 Mins)

Japan go into the game knowing a win will be crucial for their campaign. The Asian side have built a reputation for playing attractive football, but there was no sign of it as they conceded two goals in quick succession to surrender their lead against Ivory Coast last week. Shinji Kagawa was guilty of losing the ball frequently throughout the match. He admitted afterwards: “I lost a battle with myself. I couldn’t get into a good rhythm, and was beaten psychologically.”

(50 Mins)

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Group Cs second game of the day, Japan v Greece. In the earlier kick-off, Colombia overcame Ivory Coast 2-1 to move within touching distance of the knockout round. The Greeks and the Japanese have, on the other hand, yet to register their first points of the tournament.

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