Cech keeps 'boring' Japanese out

A stunning double save from Petr Cech allowed the Czech Republic to hold Japan to a 0-0 draw yesterday as the tri-nation Kirin Cup ended without a single goal being scored.

The Japanese and Czechs had both failed to break down Peru in the two previous games before Chelsea goalkeeper Cech ensured the winner-takes-all clash in Yokohama also finished in a stalemate.

"Nowhere in the world could a team improve as much in so little time as we have," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni told reporters, slightly overcooking his praise after another tepid performance. "This team has tremendous potential."

Cech brilliantly saved a Shinji Okazaki header after 78 minutes before acrobatically blocking Tadanari Lee's follow-up from point-blank range, drawing gasps from a crowd of 65,000.

Japan defender Maya Yoshida wasted the best chance of the match seven minutes into the second half when he somehow headed over from two yards out with Cech stranded and the goal wide open.

"The fact we didn't score in the two games is something to chew over," said midfielder Keisuke Honda after Japan had gone a record 14th match unbeaten at home. "We need to play with a bit more intensity and take our chances."

The home side were playing their first competitive games since winning a record fourth Asian Cup in January and March's deadly earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.

Peru and the Czechs agreed to travel to Japan after receiving assurances they would not be exposed to the risk of radiation from the nuclear crisis which is 150 miles north of Tokyo.

"If we can't beat teams like this at home we won't scare too many of the world's top teams," said Japan captain Makoto Hasebe.

"We were poor," added the German-based midfielder, though Japan played marginally better than against Peru. "There is room for improvement still. I apologise if we were boring."

"Japan were quality opponents," said Czech coach Michal Bilek. "We were missing some of our regular starters so I was a bit worried but the younger players coped well."

Meanwhile, Australia had Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici to thank as they held on for a 0-0 draw against a profligate Serbia in a friendly in Melbourne. Federici stood firm as Serbia, who lost 2-1 to Australia in the group stage of last year's World Cup in South Africa, peppered the goal in a frantic second half in front of a crowd of more than 28,000 on a chilly night at Docklands Stadium.

James Troisi missed the Socceroos' best chance to break the deadlock when, having only the keeper to beat, he prodded a weak shot into Damir Kahriman's arms.

News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
news

As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Life and Style
fashionThe Secret Angels all take home huge sums - but who earns the most?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?