Japan, Greece face moment of truth

AFP| Last Updated: Jun 18, 2014, 11:31 AM IST

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

"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 scrutinising 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."