Gutted Honda slams team's lack of spark

Gutted Honda slams team's lack of spark

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda slammed the team’s lack of creative spark following Thursday’s 0-0 World Cup draw with Greece, which left them on the brink of elimination.

“We lack ideas,” Japan’s bleach- blond talisman told local media. “We tried to attack but we just can’t put the ball in the back of the net.”

Honda, who scored Japan’s goal in a 2-1 defeat by Ivory Coast in their World Cup opener in Brazil, cut a forlorn figure after a frustrating stalemate against 10-man Greece. Japan must now beat Colombia, already through to the knockout stage after two wins, in their final Group C game to have any chance of advancing.

“Greece were very hard to break down,” said Honda. “We have to be more aggressive against Colombia,” added the AC Milan player. “We must somehow find a way to score goals and come away with three points.”

Japan, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup four years ago, could still be sent packing even if they beat Colombia with Ivory Coast on three points. Honda blamed Japan’s lack of inventiveness in the final third for their troubles in Brazil.

“To be honest, it’s extremely difficult just throwing in crosses and trying to beat these physical defenders to the ball and score,” he said.

“We needed to find a different way to goal but we were lacking the ideas to do it. I’m so gutted. It’s all about results so it’s hugely disappointing not to score.”

He added: “Greece were playing for the draw and we couldn’t break them down. Obviously that’s a problem for us.” Striker Yoshito Okubo missed an open goal in the second half, underlining Japan’s woes. “It’s such a waste,” he said after the match. “Pathetic. I apologise to everyone in Japan.”