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Greece hold Japan

Natal: Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda slammed the team’s lack of creative spark following Thursday’s 0-0 World Cup draw with Greece, which left them on the brink of elimination.

“We lacked ideas,” Japan’s bleach-blond talisman said. “We tried to attack but we just can't seem to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Honda, who scored Japan’s goal in a 1-2 loss to Ivory Coast in their World Cup opener in Brazil, cut a forlorn figure after a frustrating stalemate against 10-man Greece. Japan must now beat Colombia, already through to the knockout stage after two wins, in their final Group C game to have any chance of advancing.

“Greece were very hard to break down,” said Honda. “We have to be more aggressive against Colombia,” added the AC Milan player, who ambitiously declared Japan could win the World Cup before the tournament. We must somehow find a way to score goals and come away with three points.”

Japan, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup four years ago, could still be sent packing even if they beat Colombia with Ivory Coast on three points. Honda blamed Japan’s lack of inventiveness. “To be honest, it’s extremely difficult just throwing in crosses and trying to beat these physical defenders to the ball and score,” he said.


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