In a tight contest it sometimes needs just one cultured touch to make the difference and the telling pass that Shunsuke Nakamura supplied for Japan's goal earned him the award of the Anheuser Busch Man of the Match from the FIFA Technical Study Group.

There were other candidates in the frame but TSG member Andy Roxburgh explained that it was his all-round display of influence and industry, topped off with the ball he laid into the feet of match-winner Masashi Oguro, that earned the Reggina midfielder the honour.

Roxburgh said: "Nakamura was the key figure in the creative area of the field. He was all over the place, linking the midfield and the front together in a 'free spirit' sort of way. He was very, very busy and showed really good touches. His left foot always carries a threat at corners and free-kicks.

"There was also a good display in Japan's midfield from Hidetoshi Nakata, who was very composed and influential, but Nakamura was always more threatening and ultimately he produced the one decisive moment with that clever slide-rule pass to set up the only goal. For Greece, Georgios Karagounis also caught the eye. He was the one pulling the strings in their midfield but no one made a more important contribution than Nakamura and that's why he won our vote."