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As Japan attempted to find a way through the Greek defensive unit—essentially comprised of the entire Greek team—they often resorted to working the ball out wide before crossing it in.
This appeared to play against Japan's strengths and into Greece's, as, per the previous slide, Papastathopoulos and Manolas did a fine job of dealing with those crosses.
However, as frustrating as it may have been for Japanese fans to watch, Greece's high level of tactical discipline forced the Blue Samurai to send the ball to the flanks so often.
Even before the departure of Katsouranis, there were periods of the game where 21 players were in Greece's half, and once Greece were down to 10 men, they dropped ever deeper.
They held their shape extremely well, with Jose Holebas and Vasilis Torosidis mostly confining themselves to defensive duties and Giannis Maniatis and Giorgos Karagounis shielding the back four.
Even Greece's forwards spent a good deal of time on defensive duties, with Georgios Samaras making more tackles than any other Greek player—four, per Whoscored.com.
It was a battling team performance that was not pretty to watch but effective in forcing Japan's attack to play into Greece's defensive strengths.