Japan v Croatia, 18 June 2006

Score0-0
RefereeFrank De Bleeckere
CompetitionFIFA World Cup Finals group F
VenueFrankenstadion, Nurnberg
Attendance41,000
Kick-Off: 15:00 Local (1:00 BST) Assistant referees: Peter Hermans (Belgium) Walter Vromans (Belgium) Fourth official: Kevin Stott (United States) Fifth official: Gregory Barkey (United States) 0Man of the Match: Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan) A penalty save from Japan's Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi denied Croatia victory, with a goalless draw not doing much to help either side's hopes of progression. Goalkeeper Kawaguchi palmed away Darijo Srna's spot-kick after Dado Prso was fouled by defender Tsuneyasu Miyamoto in the first half. Croatia created the best chances, with Niko Kranjcar hitting the bar and Ivan Klasnic forcing Kawaguchi to parry. Atsushi Yanagisawa came closest for Japan but scuffed wide from four yards. Croatia will be happier with the point with Australia to come next, while Japan face the awesome task of having to beat Brazil to stand a chance of qualifying from Group F.

0  Japan

Manager: Zico

0  Croatia

Manager: Zlatko Kranjcar

Starting lineup:

Defender/Right back Mitsuo Ogasawara
Defender Akira Kaji
Defender Yuji Nakazawa
Defender/Centre back Tsuneyasu Miyamoto (captain)
Midfielder Takashi Fukunishi
Midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura
Midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa
Defender Robert Kovač
Defender Dario Simić
Defender Josip Simunić
Defender Darijo Srna
Defender Igor Tudor
Midfielder Marko Babić
Midfielder Niko Kovač (captain)
Midfielder Niko Kranjcar
Forward Ivan Klasnic
Forward Dado Pršo

Substitutions:

Junichi Inamoto for Takashi Fukunishi 46
Keiji Tamada for Atsushi Yanagisawa 61
Masashi Oguro for Naohiro Takahara 85

Substitutions:

Ivica Olić for Igor Tudor 70
Luka Modrić for Niko Kranjcar 78
Ivan Bosnjak for Darijo Srna 87

Cards:

Tsuneyasu Miyamoto 21 Y
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi 42 Y
Alessandro Santos Alex 72 Y

Cards:

Robert Kovač 32 Y
Darijo Srna 69 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Yoichi Doi
Goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki
Defender Yūichi Komano
Defender Teruyuki Moniwa
Defender Koji Nakata
Defender Keisuke Tsuboi
Midfielder Yasuhito Endo
Midfielder Junichi Inamoto
Midfielder Shinji Ono
Forward Seiichiro Maki
Forward Masashi Oguro
Forward Keiji Tamada

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Tomislav Butina
Goalkeeper Joey Didulica
Defender Ivan Bosnjak
Defender Anthony Seric
Defender Mario Tokić
Defender Stjepan Tomas
Midfielder Ivan Leko
Midfielder Jerko Leko
Midfielder Luka Modrić
Midfielder Jurica Vranješ
Forward Bosko Balaban
Forward Ivica Olić

Comments:

Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi became the first keeper to save a penalty at the 2006 World Cup finals when he palmed away Dario Snra's 22nd minute spot-kick.

Comments:

This was Dario Simic's 82nd internaional appearance so beating the all-time Croatia record held by Robert Jarni. Robert Kovac's yellow card means he will miss the final group game against Australia.