Greece Coach Fernando Santos praised his side’s defensive effort after they held Japan to a goalless draw with 10 men.
The European side saw Kostas Katsouranis sent off not long after the half hour mark, but a determined rear-guard action earned them a point and a chance to qualify for the Last 16 of the World Cup.
“The sending off of Katsouranis undoubtedly effected the game,” Santos commented after the match in Natal.
“I told the players we had to retreat back and they were magnificent in terms of their defence, their fight and their determination.
“We must congratulate the players, because they did a lot of work in the second half. After the sending off, they were monumental.
“I think that if the sending off hadn’t happened we could have won the match.”