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Japan 0-0 Croatia
Sunday, 18 June 2006

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T Miyamoto 22yellow card
Y Kawaguchi 42yellow card
A Santos 73yellow card


R Kovac 32yellow card
D Srna 69yellow card



51% 49%

Shots on target

4 5

Shots off target

8 12


5 12


18 19


  • 23 Y Kawaguchi yellow card
  • 05 T Miyamoto yellow card
  • 21 A Kaji
  • 22 Y Nakazawa
  • 14 A Santos yellow card
  • 08 M Ogasawara
  • 07 H Nakata
  • 10 S Nakamura
  • 15 T Fukunishi (45 J Inamoto )
  • 09 N Takahara (85 M Oguro )
  • 13 A Yanagisawa (62 K Tamada )


  • 01 S Narazaki,
  • 02 T Moniwa,
  • 03 Y Komano,
  • 04 Y Endo,
  • 06 K Nakata,
  • 11 S Maki,
  • 12 Y Doi,
  • 16 M Oguro,
  • 17 J Inamoto,
  • 18 S Ono,
  • 19 K Tsuboi,
  • 20 K Tamada


  • 01 S Pletikosa
  • 04 R Kovac yellow card
  • 03 J Simunic
  • 05 I Tudor (70 I Olic )
  • 07 D Simic
  • 02 D Srna yellow card (86 I Bosnjak )
  • 08 M Babic
  • 10 N Kovac
  • 19 N Kranjcar (78 L Modric )
  • 09 D Prso
  • 17 I Klasnic


  • 21 B Balaban,
  • 22 I Bosnjak,
  • 23 T Butina,
  • 12 J Didulica,
  • 15 I Leko,
  • 16 J Leko,
  • 14 L Modric,
  • 18 I Olic,
  • 20 A Seric,
  • 11 M Tokic,
  • 13 S Tomas,
  • 06 J Vranjes

Ref: Frank De Bleeckere
Att: 41000


"All the Japan players are exhausted. I think they worked hard and that Croatia had the better chances and missed a penalty, but overall a draw was a fair result."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

FULL TIME: The game ends scoreless - and that hurts the qualification hopes of both sides.

91 mins: Both sides are exhausted. They've run themselves into the ground, but to no avail.

88 mins: Two great chances for Japan - but they fail to take either. You can't blame Oguro for the second one - he was clearly having his shirt pulled.

85 mins: A draw doesn't really do either side much good, but that's the way things seem to be heading at the moment.

"Prso has had a very good game. But it looks as though Japan might hold on, while Croatia will rue not taking their chances."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

81 mins: Olic goes close with a cross-shot, and then puts a header wide.

79 mins: Modric has a chance straight away but hits a tame shot straight at Kawaguchi.

78 mins: Modric comes on for Kranjcar. Both sides have now made attacking substitutions.

77 mins: Tamada breaks free on the left but he scuffs his cross and the danger is cleared.

74 mins: Japan push forward and Inamoto tries his luck from distance - but his shot flies over.

71 mins: BOOKING Alex gets a card for his foul on Olic.

69 mins: BOOKING Srna gets a yellow. He doesn't look bothered.

68 mins: Nakamura wastes a good free-kick, bending it straight into Pletikosa's arms.

"The Croatians are so much stronger. They've got a great height advantage over the Japanese and look dangerous whenever the balls are sent into the box."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

62 mins: Josip Simunic misses with another header. Japan cannot cope with Croatia's aerial threat, but then again Croatia can't seem to take any of their chances.

61 mins: Tamada comes on for Yanagisawa as Japan push for the win.

58 mins: Croatia threaten again from a corner but Kovac heads wide when unmarked.

Player Rater In a snap poll of Player Rater users, 78% say Atsushi Yanagisawa's slice in front of goal was the worst miss of the tournament so far.

54 mins: Nakamura lashes in a shot from 30 yards but it's straight at the 'keeper.

53 mins: Kranjcar gets involved in the miss business, sliding in to toe-poke the ball wide when scoring seemed easier. Which team will crack first?

"That's unbelievable. Great ball across the goal and that's a miss which is up there with Peter Crouch's for England the other day."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

49 mins: Yanagisawa misses an absolute sitter from Kaji's cross, mis-kicking with the goal wide open. Will Japan rue that miss?

45 mins: Inamoto is on for Japan as Zico looks to change things around. As the second half gets under way, it is Japan's Celtic playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura who has caught the eye for users of Player Rater. He boasts the highest mark of the game, with an average of 9.05 at the half-way stage.

"Croatia are the stronger side, you've just got to hope that they don't end up ruing their early misses."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

HALF-TIME:So it's somehow all-square at the break. Croatia missed a penalty, hit the bar and forced Kawaguchi into two other great saves. At the moment only one team looks like winning - can Japan coach Zico inspire his team during the break?

42 mins: Prso has an unopposed header from a corner but gets up too early and heads it over the bar.

39 mins: Klasnic has another dig from distance, and Kawaguchi dives away to his left to turn it round the post.

Player Rater: The jury is out over Japan hero Kawaguchi's ability to star in the Premiership. 57% of those who responded to a poll on Player Rater say the Portsmouth reject deserves another chance, though 43% say he is too small to star on the big stage.

33 mins: Almost disaster for goalkeeper Kawaguchi as the ball bobbles up off the pitch, past his shins and - luckily for Japan - past the post.

"This is the most open game I've seen in a while."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

31 mins: BOOKING Kovac gets a yellow card for a foul on Yanagisawa. He's out of Croatia's next match.

27 mins: Niko Kranjcar smashes a shot against the crossbar from 25 yards out, and the ball rebounds to safety. Croatia are having all the chances.

"Miyamoto missed the header first, he misjudged the bounce and was never going to get the ball and stumbled into Prso's legs. But it was a fantastic save - Kawaguchi flung himself to the left-hand side. The game has come to life again."
Danny Mills, BBC Five Live Sport

21 mins: What a save from Kawaguchi - the Japan keeper makes a brilliant save diving to his left to keep Darijo Srna's penalty out.

20 mins: Prso is brought down by Miyamoto in the box - penalty.

17 mins: Japan break clear on the right through Kaji, but Takahara canot make contact with his cross.

15 mins: Hidetoshi Nakata has a pop on the volley from outside the box, but slices his effort wide.

13 mins: Croatia win their first corner but Kawaguchi punches clear.

8 mins: It's an open game so far. With both sides needing a win, there's little caution being shown.

4 mins: Niko Kranjcar has a shot from outside the box, but it's straight at Kawaguchi.

2 mins: Nakamura wins another free-kick, 30 yards from goal. He takes it himself, whips it in and Croatia scramble it clear for a corner, which they clear with ease.

1 min: Croatia have the early possession, but Japan win the first free-kick.

1358 BST: As kick-off approaches, half of the BBC viewers responding to a Your Shout poll in Player Rater believe that Croatia - but not Japan - will qualify for the last 16. Forty per cent believe neither of these teams will progress, while absolutely no-one expects them both to get through the group.

1355 BST: National anthem time. The thousands of Japan fans give theirs a first-class rendition - but the Croatians knock that effort into a checked hat.

1350 BST: The teams are lining up in the tunnel and walk out into bright sunshine.


Japan: Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi; Takashi Fukunishi, Yuji Nakazawa, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, Alex; Shunsuke Nakamura, Hidetoshi Nakata, Akira Kaji, Mitsuo Ogasawara; Atsushi Yanagisawa, Naohiro Takahara.

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Dario Simic, Robert Kovac, Josip Simunic; Darijo Srna, Niko Kovac, Igor Tudor, Marko Babic, Niko Kranjcar; Ivan Klasnic, Dado Prso.

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