2014 FIFA World Cup
Teams: Japan 0-0 Greece
Date: 19 June 2014
Venue: Estadio das Dunas
Neither side could find a winner as Japan were held to a goalless stalemate by ten-man Greece in their Group C, 2014 FIFA World Cup match at the Estadio das Dunas on Thursday.
While each side picked up their first point of the tournament, the result doesn’t really do either of them any good.
Greece still sit bottom of Group C with Japan second from bottom while Colombia top the group on six points, followed by Ivory Coast on three.
It was a rather fragmented start to the match as both sides struggled to hold onto the ball and instead gifted it to their opposition with some poor passing.
The first effort on goal came in the 11th minute when Greece’s Panagiotis Kone let fly with a powerful shot from just outside the box, but the keeper produced a good save to deny him.
Eight minutes later Japan had their first effort on goal when Yoshito Okubo played Yuya Osako into space on the edge of the box, but his shot was also well-saved by the keeper.
In the 21st minute Yuya Osako came close for Japan when his 20-yard shot shaved the wrong side of the post.
The game fell into a rather scrappy patch after that which saw Greece suffer a set-back in the 38th minute when they were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Konstantinos Katsouranis after receiving his second yellow card.
Still, despite being a man down, Greece finished the half the stronger of the two sides and went close to scoring in the 40th minute when Vasilis Torosidis broke into the box, but saw his 14-yard shot tipped around the post by the keeper.
The half ended 0-0.
The second half saw both sides playing a little cagey which resulted in chances on goal being few and far between.
Greece, for the large part, set their stall out in defence, but they did come close to a goal on the hour mark when Theofanis Gekas met a cross from Giorgos Karagounis, but he saw his 12-yard header brilliantly saved by the keeper.
Japan should have opened the scoring in the 68th minute when a low cross from the right was met at the back post by Yoshito Okubo, but he fired wide from four-yards with an empty net at his mercy.
Ten minutes later only a brilliant save from the Greek goalkeeper kept the scores level as he dove full stretch to his right to palm a 24-yard shot from Yoshito Okubo around the post.
Japan threw men forward in the final ten minutes, but could not find a winner as the match ended 0-0.