Japan v Honduras Result
1 Aug 2012
Both teams entered the match knowing a draw would see them both progress to the knockout stages - and so it unfolded - with Japan progressing as group winners and Honduras as runners-up.
Japan 0 v Honduras 0 Result
The first real action of the game came in the 16th minute when Japan’s Yuki Otsu hit a long range effort down the middle from the top of the penalty area which was well held by Honduran keeper Jose Mendoza.
Japan threatened again in the 35th minute Gotoku Sakai hit one from the left 20 yards out, but this time the ball sailed harmlessly wide of the near post.
Four minutes later it was Honduras who threatened to break the deadlock when Jerry Bengston dribbled his way into the box before forcing a good low save from Shuichi Gonda, who bravely held onto the ball as Antony Lozano went in search of a rebound.
Three minutes before the break, Honduras went close again as right-back Maynor Figueroa, who plays in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic, drilled a 35-yard effort at the goal, only for Gonda to smother the ball at his left-hand post as it took a deflection on the way through.
The second half was a timid affair with both teams seemingly content with the draw which would see both teams progress to the knockout stages.
Honduras conjured up the first real effort of the half 72 minutes into the game when Luis Garrido’s right wing cross was met by Lozano at the far post, but he glanced the ball wide under pressure.
Then Japan went on the offensive in the 81st minute when Takashi Usami hit a 30-yard free-kick from the left, which had seemingly dipped into the top right corner of the goal, only to be tipped over the bar by the fingertips of the back-peddling Mendoza.
With seven minutes to go, Japan had another effort when substitute Kensuke Nagai was played in on the left with a cross-field ball before twisting and turning in the box, but failing to beat the keeper at his near post.
A final roll of the dice from Japan saw Kazuya Yamamura jump well to meet the ball with his head from an 89th minute corner, but again Mendoza was alert to smother low and to his right.