Japan and Greece were set to play a critical Group C match on Thursday night, but the Greeks got a bellyful of Japanese before they even came to Brazil.

Greece coach Fernando Santos took his team to lunch at a Japanese restaurant in Athens, where they snacked on sushi and sashimi.

Santos says it is his favorite restaurant, but it was chosen by a team sponsor. He called the meal and the match against Japan a coincidence.

"Well, this is probably the restaurant that I go (most) often in Greece. I often go there with my family, my wife, my children. It's a great restaurant," Santos said.

"I invite you to come," Santos told the Japanese journalist who asked him about it. "The food is wonderful."


Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports/world-cup-2014