Maya Yoshida and his Japan teammates must beat Colombia in their final Group C game if they are to avoid elimination from the World Cup.

Saints defender Yoshida played the full 90 minutes at centre half as Japan followed up their opening game defeat at the hands of Ivory Coast with a drab and disappointing goalless draw against Greece.

They were handed the perfect chance to win as Greece suffered two setbacks in quick succession in the first half.

They lost their best striker, Konstantinos Mitroglou, through injury on 27 minutes and had captain Konstantinos Katsouranis sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession on 38 minutes.

However, despite their one man advantage, and 74 per cent of possession, Japan struggled to create too many chances in what was an awful match.

It leaves Japan and Greece with a point apiece after two matches with Colombia having now qualified for the knockout stages and topping the group with six points and Ivory Coast on three.

Japan must defeat Colombia on Tuesday night and hope that Ivory Coast and Greece draw or that Greece win but they finish above them on goal difference.