Kagawa: Japan's exit pathetic
Shinji Kagawa (AFP)
TOKYO - Japan playmaker Shinji Kagawa slammed the
team's World Cup elimination as "pathetic" after Tuesday's 4-1
thrashing by Colombia in their final group game.
"It hurts to go
out like this," the Manchester United player told Japanese television
broadcast on Wednesday. "I don't have any other words. I feel
responsible and deeply sorry. It's pathetic."
A three-goal blitz
by Colombia in the second half ended Japan's slender hopes of reaching
the knockout stage in Brazil after a 2-1 defeat by Ivory Coast and a 0-0
draw with Greece.
Japan's talismanic midfielder Keisuke Honda,
who had declared defiantly that the Asian champions could win the World
Cup, cut a forlorn figure after the match.
"It's embarrassing," he said, pain etched across his face and fighting back tears.
I'd said Japan would win the tournament, in the end it finished with
just empty talk," added Honda, who dismissed talk of international
"I said from the start that I intended on going to
the next (tournament). We simply weren't good enough at this World Cup.
We've still got a lot to learn. I'm extremely sorry."
reached the last 16 four years ago, flew to Brazil confident of
progressing from Group C. They had been set a target of reaching the
quarter-finals by the country's FA boss Kuniya Daini.
However, the Blue Samurai unravelled against Ivory Coast and 10-man Greece, who advanced behind group winners Colombia.
"We still have a long way to go," said right-back Atsuto Uchida, hinting that he might not play again for the national side.
thought about (retiring) but I just hadn't told people about it," added
the 26-year-old defender, one of the few Japan players to emerge with
credit from a chastening World Cup campaign.
"I hope we see new heroes play for Japan in the future, kids who are at primary school now."
Striker Yoshito Okubo, a surprise World Cup pick by Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni, apologised after another wasteful display.
knew we had to show some fight," said Okubo, who squandered point-blank
chances against Ivory Coast and Colombia. "I just feel numb right now."