On December 5, Japanese supporters were heartbroken after their side fell to Croatia on penalties. The match’s organizers wanted a penalty kick out as a tiebreaker even though both sides managed to maintain an equal score of 1-1 throughout the game. Croatians succeeded in scoring three goals out of their four efforts, while Japan only succeeded in scoring one goal as Croatian goalie Dominik Livakovi skillfully stopped the rest of their attempts.
As the exciting shootout ruined their hopes of making it to the quarterfinals, the Japanese spectators and players exhibited heartbreak. Hajime Moriyasu, the manager of Japan’s national football team, nonetheless bowed to the Al Janoub Stadium crowd in spite of his displeasure. Social internet is awash with images of his courteous gesture.
In a post-game news conference, Moriyasu expressed his gratitude for his squad, saying, “The players demonstrated a new era of Japanese football. They demonstrated their talent in a competition like the World Cup. Japanese football may develop more, and I hope they continue in the same direction.
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