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

04 July, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Romelu Lukaku

But favourites Belgium were able to catch up with a remarkable counterattack that ended the game at 3-2 and broke Japan's dream of advancing to the quarter-finals.

Sanchez, whose Chile failed to qualify for the tournament, has backed his club teammate Lukaku to go on win the award.

Follow Al Jazeera's coverage of the World Cup 2018 here.

"We don't talk about that to our players".

Belgium and Chelsea forward Eden Hazard plans to step up and seize the opportunity to be the star man of World Cup 2018.

Japan is totally different to Wales [who knocked Belgium out of Euro 2016], and we'll take this as seriously as possible.

"Today's was a good game so it made up for all that passing last time", said Okada, the university student.

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But it was't just the players.

A last-minute goal Nacer Chadli capped a remarkable fightback for Belgium as they dumped Japan out of the World Cup in thrilling, not to mention historic, fashion.

"Ronaldo and Messi are not in the World Cup anymore so now it's time to shine".

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez was more optimistic, and said the benefit of the extra rest would outweigh any potential negatives.

"When we took the lead, I thought we were going to win", said 21-year-old Nao Okada, who burst into tears at a Tokyo sports bar as the final whistle sounded. He is someone who has, over and over again, scored key goals for United at times when flashier players were nowhere to be seen.

"We've never practised penalty kicks as a team", Nishino told reporters on Sunday in Russian Federation, the Sankei Shimbun daily said.

After a poor run-up to the tournament, few people expected Japan to get very far, with most predicting they would not make it out of their group.

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