Fifa World Cup 2014: Japan draw 0-0 with 10-men Greece

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Natal (Brazil), June 20: Japan played with a lot of heart but yet could not break through the defence of Greece in a crucial Group C match in the 2010 Fifa World Cup played at the Estádio das Dunas here on Thursday.

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[Read: Colombia beat Ivory Coast 2-1]

[Read: Uruguay beat England 2-1]

The Japanese created a lot of chances against a Greek side which who was reduced to 10 men after its captain Costas Katsouranis was shown the red card in the 38th minute of the match for roughly tackling his Japanese counterpart Makoto Hasebe. The Greek was shown a yellow card for a hard foul in the 27th minute and was sent off for the second challenge.

A loss in this match would have put Japan out of the 2014 World Cup

Greece also lost starting striker Kostas Mitroglou to an injury in the 35th minute but yet held on for a goalless draw. Greece, who have a poor scoring history, had looked to Mitroglou for some scoring after using him as a substitute in their 0-3 loss to Colombia in the opening match.

The draw meant Japan remained alive in the tournament for a loss would have sent them packing. The Samurai Blues had lost to Ivory Coast 1-2 in their first match despite taking an early lead. Greece were a tad better placed but still would have to climb a mountain if they had to advance to the second round from this group after conceding a defeat to Japan.

The 0-0 result also meant that Colombia, the group toppers so far, advanced to the second round.

On June 25, Japan take on Colombia in their next match while Greece face Ivory Coast.

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