Coach, Players Comment After Loss In World Cup

Coach, players comment after loss in World Cup

The coach and players of Nadeshiko Japan spoke after failing to advance to the quarterfinals in the Women's World Cup in France.

Coach Asako Takakura said she felt sorry that the team could not turn scoring opportunities in the second half into goals.

She said the physically small Japanese players need to have refined skills and be able to make better judgments during a match to win on the world stage.

She said she hopes her squad will keep their chins up and win matches in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She said the team needs strength to win games. She said the team will move on despite the loss.

Yui Hasegawa scored Japan's only goal in the game. The 22-year-old midfielder said her goal was well constructed by several players, but that was not enough to win. She said the team has a long way to go to win a make-or-break match.

She said experienced players are painstakingly creating an atmosphere in which younger players can play to their potential. She said she is sorry younger players including herself could not live up to the expectations to win despite the good playing environment.

Captain Saki Kumagai was penalized for a handball in the penalty box with several minutes left, allowing the Dutch to score the game decider.

Kumagai said opponents can win a penalty in any match. She said she thought her players were putting up a good fight when they tied the score, but they could not win in the end.

She said she is proud of all her teammates, who attacked the opponent's goal all the way to the end.

She said she is sorry the team's World Cup journey ended prematurely. She said the team wants to return to this stage stronger with its young squad.