world cup

Scoreless draw keeps Japan and Greece alive

53 Comments
By JIM VERTUNO

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53 Comments
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Greece showed great character to hold Japan off even with 10 men. But Japan really should have taken their chances. Seems like they need more teeth up front.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

You can pass a team to death but you are never going to win unless you have a quality finisher. At this level the likes of Okazaki and Okubo just don't cut it, sorry to say. Good luck against Colombia Japan, you'll need it.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Bogva hit it on the head. Strikers need to be creative, inventive, unpredictable, and willing to take risks. Japan's strikers are predictable, uncreative, and don't take chances. Sorry JT, the commenters aren't bashing Japan, it's just the truth.I'd say the comments show disappointment in Japan's play. And that shows the commenters are actually supporters of Japan's national team. Every read what the English say about their own team after a poorly played game?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Japan national team playing for 2014 world cup is not better than the old teams played in 2010 or 2002. Even it may be worse than those teams. Back then Japanese teams were more energized and better capitalized on the opportunities. There is no any creativity, speed or hunger from players in 2014.

Japan is England of Asia which will be exaggerated by media before the game. When the game started, they have never met the expectations of their fans and early exit is always predictable. The whole management and structure of team should be changed.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Again Japan lacks a decent finisher. Okubo is a willing runner but that's about all. Hard to see Japan taking all three points off Columbia.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan lacks a striker up front, always relying on honda and kagawa.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Greece maybe but not Japan. They play Columbia next. It should be a massacre on Tuesday.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No outside threat by Japan. It's pass, pass, pass, and shoot only if in the box. Defenses have figured this out and crowd back by the goal.

They do have good set plays though. But Japan needs to shoot farther from outside the box to pull the defense out and increase the chances of errant balls in front of the net.

Their "play our kind of game" means going back to their conservative but failed strategy from the last 16 years.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

68% posssesion against a 10 man team. really if they couldnt at least score once they dont deserve to make it to the next round. Honda is way overrated and looked to as some saviour for Japan. Japans defense is poor and Greece with one player less still looked like scoring a few times

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Japanese lads must carry a lot of hair tone coloring in their kits!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

So frustrating, After Greece went down to 10 men Japan really needed to make that count. They had 68% possession, yet could make much from that. Greece played like they always do, parking the bus in front of goal. Frustrating to watch from both perspectives.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Disappointing game. Playing against 10 men for most of the game, yet so devoid of ideas. Honda was sloppy & tired from kick-off. I understand there are good players that go about their game quietly (ala Makelele, Carrick), but I have no idea what Yamaguchi offers to the team. Japan's chances of qualifying for the knockout stages are now slim to none, since they need Drogba & co to lose or draw against the Greeks, and they have to beat Colombia by a bigger margin, which looks highly unlikely looking at Pekerman's team's ability & form. 残念。

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan may still be alive but they're on their way to the gallows.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

These two teams could play till next week and still not score. This game had draw written all over it from day one.

Only plus point for Japan is with Colombia having qualified they might be an easy touch in the last game.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

if you can't score with your opponent down to 10 men then you're hopeless. and why kagawa wasn't in the starting line up is baffling.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Darn! Japan threw away a golden opportunity for a win as they were up one man for most of the game. It will take a small miracle to win their next match and avoid elimination. Miracles can happen but I'm afraid it's looking pretty grim. I'm rooting for you Blue Samurai!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There were second half opportunities in front of the goal but Japan just couldn't put it together. In fact the shots were really bad. That's the story of their World Cup so far. They can never capitalize on any advantage given to them.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The U.S. is going to win this tournament. I can feel it in my bones.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@European guy

The media was to much over confident in this team

Time & time again, the Japanese media is to blame for this... I'm all for getting behind the team and showing pride in your country, but we don't need it rammed down our throats on every advertising space imaginable!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hate to say it but watching from early into the 2nd half & seeing that Greece was playing with 10, well Japan sucked!

Same ole same ole, they don't have ANYONE who can put the ball in the net, only can dribble up the field & pretty pass around the outside of the box, Japan deserved a draw.

Next Colombia ................. well they need a miracle now, I wont be betting on one!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think Japan will struggle against a Colombian unit that is basically the best team they've produced in, like, forever. They are playing fast, furious, fancy football. Japan seemd bereft of idea, passion. Anyway, great tournament so far.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They play Columbia next. It should be a massacre on Tuesday.

Let's see.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At least we don't have to watch six hours of a goal by Honda etc for the next week.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan need a proper striker. They looked like they just had midfielders trying in the box.... hope they survive but on this performance they will be lucky. As for Engalnd.......

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Dropping Kagawa was stupid. If he'd been played in his actual position prior to this game he would have shown why.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Come on Japan.... pull your finger out!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So for Japan to enter the next round they need to-

Beat Columbia Greece beats Ivory Coast. Hope Greece wins by a low score like 1-0 Japan wins by 2 or more goals

It will be tough but if I am going to wake up at 5am for the next game, Japan needs to make my day worthwhile because I will probably be falling asleep at work.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Scoreless draw keeps Japan and Greece alive

Technically Yes, Practically NO.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Champions of friendly matches, watch them destroy a 2nd tier team that will be invited to Japan for a friendly after this world cup, talk of self deceit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How is is possible Team Japan did not score even 1 point against Team Greece?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samurai Blue needs a coach who really can teach Yamato Damashi to the players and demand it during the games.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

fire the damn coach.. all he did was pick his nose and cash his paycheck... the team is worse each year since World Cup was in Japan.. the fans were awesome however.. no reason they can't kick the ball in the net... no excuse for panic when having extra man.. they outplayed the Spartans but we weak on the front line and pushed off the set pieces... are there any 6-5 Japanese basketball players you can put on the team for corner kicks? For a country that is rooted in the martial arts... how can no one kick the ball where they are suppose to.. coaching.. get a Japanese coach.. Zico was great but this Italian was just a booger.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Readers, you can discuss the game without Japan-bashing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Scoreless draw keeps Japan and Greece alive" ...now this is a very positive headline. I mean the "alive". In which way? I am pretty sure that this was it. There are just too many "ifs" on the road to the next round.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Having the name Samurai is an insult to Samurai's of the past. Extra man on the ptich, inside the box many times and nothing. It was always a game that the Blue Samurai should have won.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It was a good result for Greece, not Japan. Greece, with their -3 goal difference, would've needed to beat Ivory Coast to advance either way, so a draw is the same as a win for them. Obviously Greece would've known this before the match and avoid taking any risks even when they had 11 men. While Japan will probably lose to Colombia anyway, at least their destiny would've been in their own hands until the final match.

Japan, like England

Well, England have a better chance, because they could beat Costa Rica by a few, and its possible Italy could beat both Uruguay and Costa Rica. Would seem unfair, but that could happen to Uruguay for losing to the weak team in a group of death.

Japan are in a similar position to 2006. Actually, the similarities are kind of eerie: quick come from behind loss in game 1, 0-0 draw while missing a big chance in game 2, and going into game 3 needing to win by a few goals against the best team in the group.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was a good result for Greece, not Japan. Greece, with their -3 goal difference, would've needed to beat Ivory Coast to advance either way, so a draw is the same as a win for them.

Tiebreaker Rules:

1) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the

teams concerned;

2) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams

concerned;

3) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams

concerned;

So we can skip number 1 & 2 because no goals were scored between them. Going by number 3, Japan has 1 goal and Greece has 0 so far. So right now, if both teams win the next round, it all depends on the number of goals scored.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kurobune:

And fans, keep on cheering ! Win or lose!

That's right. Support your team win or lose. In the end only one team will actually be the winner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry Samurai Blue, but you're going to be going home soon. Please spend the next few days practicing your excuses and blame tossing around. So far, you can blame the weather, the height of your opponents, and probably the occasional act of God. Anything else you want to add to your list?

-1 ( +10 / -10 )

Beg to disagree with all that say Japan needs a striker!!!

There are plenty of them right now. What they need is creativity and taking risks. I couldn't see any of it.

There best player was Uchida who was the only one that did something different now and then...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Darn! Japan threw away a golden opportunity for a win as they were up one man for most of the game. It will take a small miracle to win their next match and avoid elimination. Miracles can happen but I'm afraid it's looking pretty grim. I'm rooting for you Blue Samurai!

Wolfpack -- spot on. Over 50 minutes with a one-man advantage, and they couldn't score a goal. The fat lady is not singing yet for Japan, like she is for Spain, but she certainly is humming loudly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan was woeful. Your team is not as good as you think it is, it never was. The media over hype hasn't helped neither the team neither, nor is the pathetic insistence that Japan still has a chance to get through to the knock out stages. Japan, like England are out. No use clutching on to mathematically theoretical straws. Have a bit of dignity.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@tamanegi yeah the J coach needs to ban fancy hair styles. that way theyd spend more time training than looking at there mirror/reflections. id prefer to be an average looking player who scores the most goals in the WC than the other way around. too many soccer players are hooked up on there images. scoring goals does more for your image than Gatsby ever will.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If Okubo was a decent finisher and had taken his chance, most posters would probably be praising Japan for keeping their shape, staying patient and not losing their heads after Greece went down to ten. I've been watching Japan for about 15 years and seen good keepers, good defenders and some very good midfielders but I haven't seen one worthwhile goalscorer at international level in that time. They've paid for that again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Zenpun, more like the Greece of Asia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All hype and no game makes samurai blue a 2nd tier team. Greece may as well have played blindfolded. Honda described himself as, quote, ''a realist and not an idealist''. Yeah, dream on.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Damn, Japan has so many good players, I think the problem is coach. This group was so easy to advance, I wasn't expecting miracles, just 1/8, maybe 1/4 with luck, but this... 1:4 with Columbia 2nd squad is shameless. Asia has too many teams for WC. Should be reduced to 2 and 3rd playoffs with also weak Africa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any team that can't beat a ten man squad for almost the full game, who didn't have their captain, does not deserve to stay in the competition. Even the referee was on Japan's side, giving all the questionable calls against Greece, as well as all those yellow cards that went against Greece. Yet Japan didn't even come close to capitalizing. They just kept hoofing the ball in front of the Greek goal, and the Greeks just headed out all the balls since there were no Japanese striker who was tall enough to win the balls in the air against the Greeks.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan is England of Asia LOL a quote has never been so true.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

OMG Japan vs Columbia for the next game GO Japan win or lose give your best ! gambare nipon !!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The media was to much over confident in this team,as a veteran of football myself i always thought that Japan would not perform a great world cup,let's face it,they have just 3-4 great players,the rest is really nothing,a manager that played a very poor football when he was training for Milan/Inter and Lazio,besides his years in Udinese,but we're talking about 20 years ago.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Call me "bakamono" (fool), call me whatever ! The old adage is that quitters never win, and winners never quit ! Mathmatically, practically, whatever, GO SAMURAI BLUE ! And fans, keep on cheering ! Win or lose!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Anyone surprised by the crash and burn? I'm not. Passing the ball to Honda and expecting him to score hasn't been working and won't work. Time for something else - say, using Kagawam Kakitani and others? Gee, there's a thought. Why exactly IS Honda the golden boy anyway? He was rotting in Russia because of his attitude and just made it to Italy where he hasn't been amazing. Why the support from the media and pubilc? I'd be looking at Kakitani, Kagawa and some of the younger players for the future.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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