After a man down, Greece increased their performance under the leadership of Samaras and then with the arrival of Karagounis. For Japan, the lack of decisive passes in the final third proved detrimental.
With the result, Colombia are almost assured of a Round of 16 place.
FULL-TIME: Japan 0 - 0 Greece
90+4' - With Japan goal-kick, came final whistle.
90+3' - Greece won a free-kick in their onw box following a tussle.
90+2' - Okubo missed a chance to score.
90+1' - Konnon conceded a free-kick to Greece.
90' - Four minutes ADDED.
89' - With minutes into the final whistle, Greece goalie produced yet another brilliant save from the Endo free-kick.
Before the free-kick, Torosidis was booked for the handball.
88' - From the counter, Japan got a free-kick just outside the Greece box after a Torosidis hand-ball.
87' - Samaras won a free-kick in the centre. From the play, they got a good attempt at the Japanese goal.
86' - Japan got goal-kick from a Greece counter-attack.
85' - Japanes players are bearing body blows from the bigger Greece players. In yet another attack, despite the presence of five Japanese players inside the Greece box, the ball went out of play, the last touch coming from Maya Yoshida.
81' - Japan's foray deep inside Greek half continue. But their ever present threat was successfully thwarted by discipline Greek defence.
80' - From the corner, Samaras could have scored. But he was unmoved as the ball went pass him for a Japanese goal-kick.
79' - Greece won a corner after the set-play. In between, Kone made way for Salpingidis.
78' - Greece won a free-kick following a late tackle on Samaras in their own half.
77' - Busy man Okubo tried a long ranger, but Karnezis was upto the task. Produced a brilliant save.
75' - Konno penalised for bringing down a Greece player during Japan's set-play. Free-kick to Greece.
73' - Japan, after more than a dozen passes in front of the Greece goal-mouth, wasted the chance. Earlier, Endo was brought down just outside the box, with the referee giving advantage to the attacking team.
72' - Referee allowed advantage as Greece made a surprise attack. From the play, Greece won a throw-in, only to be handed over with a aimless shot on the goal.
71' - Another Japan miss. This time Uchida shot wide from a close distance. All he needed to do was hit the target.
70' -After a brilliant dummy, Honda got a shot. But a timely block from a Greece defender saved the moment.
69' - Kagawa, once again, won a free-kick as the midfielder received double tackle from Karagounis and Kone inside the Greece half.
67' - What a miss by Okubo. He was laid free to tap in by a brilliant Kagawa minus, but Okubo's touch sailed over the bar.
66' - Honda's delivery from the set-play failed create any chance for Japan. But they continue to possess the ball.
64' - Match interrupted for a while as Kagawa received a bad challenge from Kone. Referee awarded a free-kick to Japan.
Moments earlier, from the Greece set-play, a long ball forced Japan keeper to leave his space and produced a good save.
62' - Japan quickly got themselves on attack but Okazaki's bad attempt while fighting for possession resulted in a challenge. Free-kick to Greece.
61' - Mountain of a man, Samaras tumbled as Okubo's late tackle made contact. Greece won a free kick. But the Japanese keeper has not trouble collecting the ball from the set-play.
60' - From the play, Japan won their corner. But the result from the set-play resulted into a Greece goal-kick.
57' - Brilliant play from Samaras, as he tried to pierce through the Japan defence. From the following play, they won a corner. But the delivery from the far end ended with a corner in the opposite side. Karagounis took the second cornern which was headed away by a defender. Then another corner followed, with Japan goalie producing a brilliant save. Another corner, but this time the delivery from the far end was headed long towards the centre.
56' - Japan SUB: Shinji Kagawa finally arrived, replaced Yuya Osako.
55' - From the dead-ball, Endo once again tried to set-up one of his team-mates for a header. But to no avail. Instead, won a corner.
54' - Yellow Card for Georgios Samaras, as he fouled Honda on the run. Free-kick to Japan.
52' - After a long time, Greece a free-kick in the centre. But they failed to take advantage from the set-play as Japan once again break loose with Honda leading leading.
51' - Now the attack from the left with Uchida delivering a teaching ball in front of the Greece box. From the interplay, Honda took a shot at the goal. But his attempt was rather slow. No harm done. Greece goal-kick.
50' - Kone conceded a free-kick in a dangerous area as he tripped a Japanese player. From the set-play, Endo delivered a good ball but found no one to make the final touch.
49' - Japan continued to press hard, but a long clearance from a Greece defender allowed Japan to start from the beginning.
47' - Samaras tested Japan goalie from some 55 yards. But his attempt missed the target by a whisker.
46' - Japan SUB: Makoto Hasebe replaced by Yasuhito Endo during the interval.
In the first-half, Japane had 70% possession with seven attempts, of which five finding the target. But the all important goal was missing, despite numerous chances.
For Greece, playing a typical defensive game, found three of the four attempts on target. But their campaign hit with a red-card, that of Katsouranis, after two bookings.
HALF-TIME: Japan 0 - 0 Greece
45+2' - From the goal-kick, Japan had a run-in on the left flank. And the half-time whistle.
45+1' - Gekas caught off-side in a Greece attack.
45' - Two minutes ADDED.
44' - Greece earned themselves a free-kick inside the Japan half, after Okazaki fouled a Greece player. From the set-play, Karagounis produced a tantalising delivery. But Japan won a goal-kick as the ball went out of play off a Greece header.
43' - Greece continue to tackle hard to counter the Japanese fluidity. Another free-kick to Japan.
41' - Japan are creating enough chances to score, but without any conversion. In one such move, Okubo found his shot off the target.
40' - With the sending off of Katsouranis, arrived in the centre is Greece legend Georgios Karagounis, in place of Ioannis Fetfatzidis.
39' - From a poor corner, Greece found a great chance to open the scoring with Torosidis' fierce shot blocked by Kawashima.
38' - In the subsequent play, Japan almost scored. But the ball went for a corner.
37' - Sent Off! Greece captain, already booked, got a second yellow after he lunged on Japan captain Hasabe, who was on the break.
36' - Another brilliant run from the Japanese players ended with a good clearance.
35' - Greece SUB: Injured Mitroglou out, Theofanis Gekas in.
34' - Uchida got a cut inside the Greece box from a brilliant Japanese run which started from their own half. But the move met an un-expectant end with a Greece defender clearing it. Japan throw-in.
31' - Nagatomo won a throw-in after spending some time on the left flank. In the following play, he delivered a good cross but Okubo missed target from a free header.
29' - Mitroglou on the floor after Hasabe's elbow rubbed the Greece player on the side ribs. He received medical attention on the sidelines.
28' - Honda's free-kick from 24 metres troubled the Greece goalie, with the ball spilling from the grasp. Good defending from Greece defenders save the moment.
27' - Okubo won a free-kick in a dangerous position for Greece.
26' - Yellow card for Katsouranis, as a Japanese player tried to break away from a Greek attack.
24' - Throw-in for Greece from on the left. But Japan once again produced a teasing cross in front of the Greece goal-mouth, which went out of play.
23' - Japan are asked to take the free-kick again as referee called on to Samaras to play safe.
22' - Torosidis spot on as his header cleared a dangerous cross inside the Greece box.
21' - In response, Greece produced a run-in inside the Japan box, before Holebas's shot was saved by Kawashima.
20' - Brilliant attempt by Osako as he tried to curl one pass the Greece goalkeeper. But the ball flew pass the far past.
19' - Japan, from a throw-in, started a mjove but soon Greece won back the ball before Mitroglou lose again.
18' - Holebas got a reprieve from the referee after he committed a bookable foul.
17' - Japan have already completed over 130 passes. Honda's looping pass to Okubo looked dangerous, but the forward was ruled off-side.
16' - Samaras got an opportunity in front of the Japan goal. But Honda disposes the Greek player.
15' - Japan, after winning the ball back, have enjoyed a good spell. Then won a free-kick in the Greece half.
14' - Greece started their attack from deep inside their own half.
13' - From the set-play, Greece lost the ball after Sokratis Papastathopoulos committed a foul. Free-kick to Japan.
12' - Japanese captain booked for dragging a Greece player. Greece free-kick.
11' - Greece players are rolling the ball to all corners of the field, prospectively looking to break away through a hole.
10' - One powerful run from Kone produced a direct shot. But Kawashima recovered to collect the ball.
9' - Thanks to a long ball from a Greece player, Japan got to start from their half. Yoshida is in the centre of the Japan defense.
8' - Japanese players probed the Greece defenders in the final third for sometime before Samaras win a loose pass.
6' - Okubo once again enjoyed an incisive run in the Greece box. But alert defending from Greece defenders cut short his foray.
5' - From the Greece corner, Yamaguchi robed Samaras off the ball in the Japanese box. Good defending.
4' - But Mitroglou and Kone combined well enough to provide a shooting opportunity for the Greece.
3' - Greece also responded with a swift attack. But thanks to a direction-less kick, Japan won the first goal-kick of the match. Then, Honda won the first free-kick inside the Greece half.
2' - What a start from the Asian giants. Okubo, from the left, created some anxious moments for the defending team.
1' - Japan, in their favourite all blue, kicked the ball first. Greece are in their favourite all blue.
The big story ahead of the kick-off is the absence of Manchester United mid-fielder, Shinji Kagawa from the starting XI.
El Salvador referee, Joel Aguilar will officiate the match.
Japan XI:Kawashima; Uchida, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Konno; Hasebe, Yamaguchi, Honda, Okazaki; Okubo, Osako
SUBS: Sakai, Morishige, Endo, Kiyotake, Kagawa, Kakitani, Nishikawa, Aoyama, Inoha, Saito, Sakai, Gonda
Greece XI:Karnezis; Torosidis, Papasthathopoulos, Manolas, Holebas; Fetfetsidis, Katsouranis, Maniatis, Kone, Samaras, Mitroglou
SUBS: Tzavellas, Moras, Tziolis, Karagounis, Vyntra, Glykos, Kapino, Salpingidis, Christodoulopoulos, Gekas, Samaris, Tachtsidis
In their only previous meeting, Japan defeated Greece 2-1 in 2005. But the stakes are rather high for both the teams, after suffering defeats in their respective opening games of the World Cup.
Alberto Zaccheroni admitted that Japanese team lacked chutzpah against Ivory Coast and he must have worked to improve the team.
It`s more or less similar plight for Greece too. However, both the teams have enough talent to be considered minnows in the world stage.
I have a lot of respect and admiration for what Juventus have achieved over the last few years.