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01:37:05 am

Dour, Defensive Japan Go From Confident To Comical | Reuters

Team Japan walk off the pitch after the 2014 World Cup Group C soccer match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the <a href=(source) Pernambuco arena in Recife June my company 14, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich' style='float:left;padding:5px' />

We were panicking." The match had begun so well for the Asians as they controlled possession and pulled the Ivorians from side to side before a sublime strike by Keisuke Honda, who had talked up their chances of lifting the trophy in Brazil, download in the 16th minute gave them a deserved lead. QUICK TURNAROUND But instead of pushing for a second they squandered possession and handed the incentive to the Africans, who scored twice in two minutes shortly after throwing on talismanic striker Didier Drogba for the final half hour to form a four man attack. Only after the Ivorians had scored did Zaccheroni remove disappointing striker Yuya Osako but Okubo said his introduction came too late. "It's such a waste. If they go up 2-1, they were going to start to sit back so I wanted to get in when it was still 1-1." Attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa had an ineffectual game down the left and was also guilty of failing to track back and offer protection to fullback Yuto Nagatomo as both Ivorian goals came from crosses down his flank. The playmaker, who has struggled for game time at Manchester United this season, said the Japanese had no other option but to attack Greece, who lost 3-0 to Colombia, in their next match on Thursday before they take on the South Americans. "It really stings that we're having to look back on our first game in this way," he said. "We obviously weren't aggressive enough.
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