Japan leaves 'thank you' note and clean lockers after World Cup loss

04 July, 2018, 08:46 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
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A Nacer Chadli strike with 20 seconds left in stoppage time set up a quarter-final date for Belgium with Brazil, after the Red Devils overcome a two-goal deficit against a Japanese side who fought tooth and nail in Rostov.

Group G toppers Belgium will be heavily favored against Group H runner-up Japan in their Round of 16 match in Rostov-on-Don.

A second from a corner and then a stoppage-time victor from a fast counter handed Belgium a scarcely deserved 3-2 victory in what - despite the loss - was easily the best performance that any of Asia's quintet of nations turned in at Russian Federation.

South Korea hammered the Germans, and Japan very almost did the same to Belgium, but Asia's representatives are once again heading home before the business end of the World Cup gets going.

"Personally, I like to play, and sometimes when I stop I'm not as good in the following match".

Changing coaches on the eve of the World Cup can be fraught with danger.

"At 2-2 I thought we were heading for a penalty shootout.it's crushing", he said.


Brazil, meanwhile, advanced past the group stage of the World Cup for the 13th consecutive time.

After a heartbreaking loss to Belgium in the round of 16 on Monday, the Japanese men's team stayed behind to clean up their locker room.

"We are talking every day on WhatsApp, we go everywhere together [in England], we talk about what the team lacks".

It is a wall that Asian teams have managed to scale only twice: when South Korea reached the semi-finals on home soil in 2002, and their cousins in the North got to the last eight at the 1966 World Cup in England.

"We don't talk about that to our players". They let us dream of a victory at one point. "When the (Belgium's third) goal was conceded, I blamed myself, and I questioned my tactics". They are also known to do the same in other competitions as well.

"Belgium deserved the win, but we also played as well as we possibly could".

"I don't think it is really useful to practise for a penalty shootout", he added, saying it was impossible to recreate the pressure players would feel in a real penalty situation.

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