Zaccheroni left frustrated by toothless Japan

The Samurai Blue were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Greece on Thursday and their coach believes a lack of cutting edge in attack cost his side dearly
Alberto Zaccheroni was disappointed with Japan's toothless performance in their draw against Greece in World Cup Group C on Thursday.

The Samurai Blue's campaign is in the balance after they were held to a goalless stalemate against the 10-man side at the Arena das Dunas - a result that saw both teams collect their first point in the competition.

The Europeans played 52 minutes of the game a man down after Kostas Katsouranis saw red for a second bookable offence seven minutes before the half-time break.

And while Japan out-passed their opponents by 553-117, they failed to create any real meaningful goal-scoring chances, with the Asian champions' lack of cutting edge resulting in just four shots on target.

Speaking after the game, Zaccheroni said Japan's lack of creativity had cost them dearly overall: "We are disappointed, we were hoping to win.

"The circumstances were there but the knockout blow was missing.

"We created some chances without managing to take them, even though I was hoping for more goalscoring chances.

"We attacked from the start, [but] we lacked that sharpness in the penalty area."

With Colombia already having booked their spot in the knockout phase after their 2-1 win over Cote d'Ivoire, Japan face the South Americans knowing that nothing less than victory will suffice if they are to reach the last 16.

Regardless of the scenario, the Italian boss insists his team will be set up to attack in Cuiaba.

"The last match? We'll play to win, as always."