Sports

Greece reduced to 10 men but still level 0-0 at halftime against Japan at World Cup

  • Referee Joel Aguilar from El Salvador shows a red card to Greece's Kostas Katsouranis, left, during the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014.  (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

    Referee Joel Aguilar from El Salvador shows a red card to Greece's Kostas Katsouranis, left, during the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Kostas Katsouranis is booked by referee Joel Aguilar from El Salvador during the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Greece's Kostas Katsouranis is booked by referee Joel Aguilar from El Salvador during the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Giannis Fetfatzidis, left, challenges Japan's Maya Yoshida during the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Greece's Giannis Fetfatzidis, left, challenges Japan's Maya Yoshida during the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)  (The Associated Press)

Greece was reduced to 10 men after Costas Katsouranis was sent off in the 38th minute with his second booking but was still level 0-0 with Japan at halftime of their Group C game at the World Cup.

Katsouranis drew his first yellow with a hard foul in the 27th minute and later was sent off for another rough challenge on Makoto Hasebe. Greece also lost starting striker Kostas Mitroglou to an injury in the 35th minute. Greece, which has a dismal scoring history in the World Cup, had turned to Mitroglou to generate goals after using him as a substitute in a 3-0 loss to Colombia.

Japan would be eliminated from the World Cup with a second loss. Greece would still be mathematically alive with a defeat but would face long odds against advancing out of the group.