Tearful Japan fans crushed by last-gasp loss to Belgium

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The 32-year-old attacking midfielder, who did not start a game in Russian Federation, came on as a second half substitute in Rostov as Japan let a 2-0 lead slip and conceded a third in the final seconds of stoppage time. In Belgium vs Japan match, the former appears to be the clear favourite.

World Cup fever has gripped Japan despite a time difference that meant Monday's match aired from 3:00am on Tuesday local time. In fact, El Tri has won only one knockout game ever at the World Cup.

"We were not afraid to play against Belgium and we showed that for 90 minutes but unfortunately we couldn't win but I'm proud of the team because we played aggressively and all Japanese people I think are proud of us".

"When you are in the World Cup it's about achieving your aim so it's not something to criticise; the opposite".

"All three of us have reached their best level since we started playing football", said Hazard, who only has one concern.

"We gave European clubs a message today that they should bring more Japanese players and I hope that after this World Cup that's what will happen".

Japan was bounced from the World Cup on Monday, its surprising run halted by a flurry of late Belgian goals.

"I am really happy for the match, not only individually but also for the whole team".

I already ran through his unbelievable global goalscoring record the last time we took the piss out of him, and he added another last night as Brazil overcame Mexico 2-0 on their way to the quarters. Few expected the Blue Samurai to get out of their group, not least because of the change at the top.

Belgium's Nacer Chadli scores their third goal.

The Japanese team stunned viewers so much with their outstanding performance that Twitter users made sure to congratulate the team despite their inconsolable loss. They are also known to do the same in other competitions as well. "The players deserve to come home with their heads held high".

"I don't like to have too many days off between games", he said.

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