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Japan must beat Greece on Thursday to stand any realistic chance of surviving at the World Cup, but a repeat of Saturday’s performance in a frustrating defeat to Cote d’Ivoire will bring nothing but an early ticket home.

Japan got its fifth straight World Cup campaign off to the worst possible start at the weekend, taking a 16th-minute lead over Cote d’Ivoire through Keisuke Honda only to throw it away in a second-half horror show that handed the Africans a 2-1 victory.

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