Japan and Greece Fight for Survival TonightPublished June 19, 2014 by OCR Editor
The loser of tonight's match between Japan and Greece in Group C will book an early flight home. (11pm UK time)
The Estadio das Dunas at Natal sees Group C competitors Japan and Greece meeting tonight (11pm UK time) for a thrilling fight for survival. Both teams have lost their Group C openers, and it'll be the end of this World Cup for the team which loses tonight– unless we see a draw.
Ivory Coast Heartbreak
Japan played good against Ivory Coast, climbing to an early advantage when Keisuke Honda slipped a strike into the net in the 16th minute, but Ivory Coast proceeded to overwhelm Japan in possession and attempts at keeper's Eiji Kawashima net who valiantly delivered save after save. Sadly for Samurai BLue, the classic rule of "he who doesn't score gets scored" proved itself, and Japan conceded two quick goals in succession in the second half.
Don't Respect Greece Too Much
Speaking after the game, goalscorer Honda said that he felt his teammates had too much respect for Ivory Coast's players. "There were some dangerous players of Ivory Coast and there are some of Greece too and we need to show the respect to them but it is better not to show it too much," said Honda to the press, guaranteeing that despite having their back against the wall, Japan's confidence is still solid.
Mitroglou for Greek Rescue
Ethniki's opening was a painful one, witnessing a shutout 3-0 loss to Colombia. For tonight's match, Greece coach Fernando Santos is expected to start with striker Kostas Mitroglou, the team's top scorer in the qualifying stages who was out due to knee injuries throughout the year but played a little after coming off the bench against Colombia. The Greeks have nothing to lose and they'll play offensive, but that applies for Japan also who promised an aggressive game; whoever wins tonight, we're up for one hell of a game!