By Peter Staunton in Cuiaba
Japan defender Maya Yoshida admits Japan have under-performed at the World Cup with the reigning Asian champions on the brink of a humiliating first-round exit.
Defeat to Cote d'Ivoire on matchday one preceded a disappointing 0-0 draw against Greece in Group C and now the Samurai Blue are relying on an unlikely set of results in the final group games on Tuesday. They take on Colombia in Cuiaba while Greece clash with Cote d'Ivoire in Fortaleza.
"I expect myself, my team-mates and my country to play better," the Southampton defender told Goal. "I know the Colombians are one of the biggest teams in the world and the last two games they've played very well. So it will be a very tough game. If we can play normally and play with more confidence I think we can win."
Requiring to beat table-topping Colombia, who have won their opening two fixtures, Alberto Zaccheroni's side also need Greece to take points from Cote d'Ivoire to ensure qualification to the second round. In the event of a draw in that game then Japan would need to beat Colombia by at least two goals.
Yoshida admits the step-up from the Asian qualification campaign to the World Cup has been difficult for his side and they have yet to acquit themselves well in Brazil.
"When we play against the Asian teams and then European teams or South American teams it's completely different," he said. "Asian teams stay behind and play defensively so that's why we can take initiative in the game.
"But when we play against other countries it's more difficult for us. But I think we have improved very well. It's time to show who we are. That's why we have to win."