Result: Japan held by 10-man Greece

Japan are held to a goalless draw by 10-man Greece in their World Cup Group C match.

Japan have been held to a goalless draw by 10-man Greece in their World Cup Group C match this evening.

Greece came close in the opening stages through Panagiotis Kone's long-range effort, which was held by Eiji Kawashima at the second time of asking.

Yoshito Okubo of Japan controls the ball against Giorgos Samaras of Greece during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match on June 19, 2014© Getty Images

Japan were next to threaten when Yuya Osako cut inside from the left and bent an effort inches wide of the top corner.

The Japanese began to take control of the match and Keisuke Honda saw his curling free kick saved by the keeper.

They were close again moments later as Yoshito Okubo headed over the bar from Yuto Nagatomo's delivery.

Greece suffered a blow in the 38th minute as Konstantinos Katsouranis was sent off for a late challenge on Makoto Hasebe.

Greece's midfielder Kostas Katsouranis (C) is given the red card after a foul on Japan's midfielder Makoto Hasebe during a Group C football match on June 20, 2014© Getty Images

Despite going down to 10 men, the Greeks were close to finding the net just moments later through Vasilis Torosidis, who saw his powerful strike beaten away by Kawashima.

At the beginning of the second half Giorgos Samaras attempted to chip the keeper directly from the kickoff, but his ambitious attempt went wide of the goal.

Both teams were finding it hard to create clear-cut chances, but Theofanis Gekas had a good opening when his header forced Kawashima into a save.

Greece's goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis makes a save during a Group C football match between Japan and Greece at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 19, 2014© Getty Images

Midway through the half Okubo should have given Japan the lead, but after meeting Atsuto Uchida's low cross at the back post, he blazed an effort wide.

Uchida himself came close soon after, but could only fire wide when the ball broke kindly to him at the back post.

In the final minute of the match Yasuhito Endo tried his luck with a free kick from just outside the box, but his effort was beaten away by Orestis Karnezis as the game ended level, ensuring that both teams picked up their first points of the tournament.

Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos is pictured during a group C football match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
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