NATAL, Brazil, - Japan and Greece face a high-stakes World Cup match yesterday after opening match defeats which have left their participation in the tournament hanging by a thread.
With Japan outmuscled by Ivory Coast 2-1 and Greece thumped 3-0 by Colombia on Saturday, defeat for either side in their Group C collision in Natal could well be terminal.
But what is not in doubt is that neither Japan nor Greece has much margin for error at the Estadio das Dunas.
Japan's English-based defender Maya Yoshida believes it will be crucial for the Blue Samurai to score first against the Greeks.
But Yoshida was adamant the Asian giants had not given up hope of progressing to the knockout rounds for only the third time in their history.
"Greece lost as well. They have good defenders and tactics," said Yoshida.
"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."