Monday March 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Japan, Greece face moment of truth, in Group C

Greece's Georgios Samaras leaves the pitch dejected after the FIFA World Cup 2014 group C preliminary round match between Colombia and Greece at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 14.

Japan and Greece face a high-stakes World Cup shoot-out here on Thursday after opening match defeats which have left their participation in the tournament hanging by a thread.

With Japan outmuscled by Ivory Coast 2-1 and Greece thumped 3-0 by Colombia on Saturday, defeat for either side in their Group C collision in Natal could well be terminal.

Whether Japan or Greece are heading for the exit on Thursday night will depend on the outcome of Colombia's showdown with the Ivory Coast earlier in the day.

But what is not in doubt is that neither Japan nor Greece has much margin for error in Thursday's (2200 GMT) kick-off at the Estadio das Dunas.

Japan's English-based defender Maya Yoshida believes it will be crucial for the Blue Samurai to score first against the Greeks.

"Of course we lost the first match so at the moment we're very disappointed but we still have two games to go," said Yoshida.

But Yoshida was adamant the Asian giants had not given up hope of progressing to the knockout rounds for only the third time in their history.

"Greece lost as well. They have good defenders and tactics," said Yoshida.

"They have a good orientation defensively so if we get the first goal they have to come forward so we will have a chance to take more initiative."

Keisuke Honda, who faded badly in the second half against the Ivorians after firing Japan ahead in the 16th minute, insisted his team-mates had picked themselves up after the defeat in Recife.

"We've got it out of our system," said Honda. "Losing wasn't what was shocking, it was not being able to play to our strengths.

"The best characteristics of the Japanese turned against us. We're a diligent side and when we started trying too hard it destroyed us."

But not everyone has been convinced. Former captain Hidetoshi Nakata, now a pundit commentating on the World Cup for public broadcaster NHK, questioned the tactics of manager Alberto Zaccheroni.

"We must think about what kind of game we want to produce because so far I've yet to figure out what kind of game Zaccheroni wants the team to play."

Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa suggested caution may have to be thrown to the wind if Japan are to avoid crashing out.

"Greece are going attack us, so we have no option but to start with the same strategy."

But Greece's national team manager Fernando Santos meanwhile believes he has pinpointed Japanese vulnerabilities after scrutinizing their performance against the Ivorians.

"We watched them play against Ivory Coast," Santos said.

"We selected interesting information and we will inform our players during the next days.

"We have already watched Japan in the past and we know their advantages and disadvantages. We will be ready." [AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 19, 2014 (16:12)  
Improved Greece draws 0-0 at Hungary
Hooligans mar PAOKs handball cup triumph
Greens live dangerously in Istanbul
Greek federation backs injured Holebas
Work on tram extension begins in Piraeus
Traffic restriction began in Piraeus on Monday as work began to extend the tram line to the port. Drivers are advised to follow the diversions put in place by authorities. The work on the tr...
Claim of responsibility for Athens police precinct attack
An attack on Dafni police station in southern Athens has been claimed by an unnamed group. The attack led to four vehicles being burned and, according to the claim of responsibility publishe...
Inside News
Greece says not backing down on debt relief goal
Greece has not given up on its aim to renegotiate its debt to render it manageable, the country's deputy finance minister said on Monday as talks between Athens and its lenders on reforms to...
Greeces OPAP 2014 profit jumps on new games, cost cuts
Greece's OPAP, Europe's second biggest gambling firm based on market value, on Monday reported an annual 41 percent rise in 2014 net profit, boosted by the launch of new games and cost savin...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Lets change the subject
Lets talk about the weather. The cloudy skies, the rain, storms and humidity, the overall heavy atmosphere. Its better to think of that than politics and politicians, whatever cuts they ma...
EDITORIAL
Too little, too late?
Many of the measures that are rumored to comprise part of the list that the Greek government is expected to submit to the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Mon...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Greece says not backing down on debt relief goal
2. Greeces OPAP 2014 profit jumps on new games, cost cuts
3. Work on tram extension begins in Piraeus
4. Claim of responsibility for Athens police precinct attack
5. Flooding in Serres after river bursts its banks
6. European stock-index futures rise as investors look to Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
2. Greek markets show all at risk should mistake trigger a default
3. European stock-index futures rise as investors look to Greece
4. Claim of responsibility for Athens police precinct attack
5. Flooding in Serres after river bursts its banks
6. Greece's OPAP 2014 profit jumps on new games, cost cuts
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. PM faces Merkel amid race to detail reforms
3. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
4. Some more equal than others
5. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
6. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.