Croatia and Japan share point in Group F

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Japan and Croatia drew 0-0 in the heat of Nuremburg, Sunday.

Both teams worked hard and had clear chances to score but lacked the necessary ruthlessness in front of goal. On a hot field and under the blue sky in the Frankenstadion the conditions won as the match petered out at a walking pace.

Frankenstadion, Nuremberg.

In the first period Japan's goal keeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi kept Japan in the game. Kawaguchi dived low to his left to save Darijo Srna's driven penalty after Dado Prso had been knocked down from behind by Tsuneyasu Miyamoto.

The yellow card for the central defender and captain of the Japan team meant he would miss Japan's next match against Brazil.

The Japanese keeper was centre of the action again when the Croatian coach's son Niko Kranjcar turned brilliantly and rattled the crossbar from 25 yards.

With half an hour gone Kawaguchi got a shock - a bouncing back pass bobbled one meter in front of him. Fortunately for Japan though it evaded his control the ball trickled just wide of the post.

Croatia had the better opportunities. Overall, their physical presence meant they were dangerous from their 11 corner kicks and were capable of making space to shoot from the edge of the area.

If Zlatko Kranjcar might have wished for more luck in front of goal, Japan coach Zico might also rue the lack of finishing from his team. Atsushi Yanagisawa missed an open goal on 50 minutes.

Both sides gave their best in the heat and deserved their first Fifa World Cup point. The result did not play either team out of the World Cup but the advantage in Group F remained with Brazil and Australia who had three points after the first games.


Group F

June 18, 2006
  Croatia 0–0   Japan Frankenstadion

Attendance: 41'000

Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)   


  • 01 S Pletikosa
  • 04 R Kovac 32'  
  • 03 J Simunic
  • 05 I Tudor (Substituted: 70' I Olic)
  • 07 D Simic
  • 02 D Srna 69'   (Substituted: 86' I Bosnjak)
  • 08 M Babic
  • 10 N Kovac
  • 19 N Kranjcar (Substituted: 78' L Modric)
  • 09 D Prso
  • 17 I Klasnic


  • 23 Y Kawaguchi 42'  
  • 05 T Miyamoto 21'  
  • 21 A Kaji
  • 22 Y Nakazawa
  • 14 A Santos 72'  
  • 08 M Ogasawara
  • 07 H Nakata
  • 10 S Nakamura
  • 15 T Fukunishi (Substituted: 45' J Inamoto)
  • 09 N Takahara (Substituted: 85' M Oguro)
  • 13 A Yanagisawa (Substituted: 62' K Tamada)


Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
Australia 3 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
Brazil 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
Croatia 1 2 0 1 1 0 1 -1
Japan 1 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2

Fifa World Cup Group F table June 18, 2006


This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.