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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 June 2006, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Japan boss angry at match timings
Japan coach Zico
Japan coach Zico criticised World Cup organisers after his side played their second consecutive match, against Croatia, in hot weather.

Japan drew 0-0 with their Group F rivals and will need to beat Brazil in their final group game to stand a chance of making the last 16.

"It's a crime that we had to play in this heat again," said the Brazilian.

"Our last game was at 3pm too but they want to do it that way for television. I guess business is business."

Zico added: "We lost our way a little bit in the second half.

"But while you're still breathing you're still alive and we'll do all we can to stay alive."

The Brazilian was more complimentary about the performance of goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, who brilliantly saved Darijo Srna's penalty in the 20th minute.

"My goalkeeper was brilliant, he saved beautifully," he said.

"It's not that the Croatian player didn't hit it properly, it was because my goalkeeper did so well."

Zico admitted he was frustrated by Japan's inability to convert the number of chances they had created.

Striker Atsushi Yanagisawa was guilty of missing the best chance of the game when he shot wide of Stipe Pletikosa's goal from four yards.

"The players come to the goalmouth and when they have to score there is pressure and they tense up," said Zico.

"Not everybody can score a goal. We were almost there. We were at the goalmouth but we didn't get it in."

However forward Noahiro Takahara believes his side still have a chance of making the last 16.

"It's not over for us yet," Takahara said.

"If we had lost we would basically be out but we still have the Brazil match and that's something."



SEE ALSO
Japan 0-0 Croatia
27 Apr 06 |  World Cup 2006
Kranjcar confident of progress
17 Jun 06 |  Croatia
Japan team guide
22 May 06 |  Japan
Pick your Japan XI
16 May 06 |  Squad selectors
World Cup schedule
25 May 06 |  Schedule
Have your say on the World Cup
28 Apr 06 |  Football
BBC World Cup coverage
27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage


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