Japan hailed as ‘an example for all teams’ after leaving dressing room spotless with a note of thanks after late World Cup defeat by Belgium
After the agonising nature of their last-16 defeat by Belgium, Japan‘s World Cup squad would have been forgiven for leaving the Rostov Arena as swiftly as possible.
A number of their players were left in tears after being knocked out of the tournament when a late, late goal from Nacer Chadli sealed a 3-2 comeback victory for Belgium.
Japan left their dressing room spotless after their 3-2 World Cup defeat by Belgium on Monday
A goal in the finals seconds of stoppage time by Nacer Chadli handed Belgium victory
As Belgium celebrate a stunning winner, Japan’s players lay strewn on the turf
Sharing a picture of their spotless post-match dressing room, Janssens wrote: ‘This is the Japanese dressingroom (sic) after losing to Belgium in the 94’ minute.
‘Thanked their fans in the stadium, cleaned up everything (bench and dressingroom) and spoke to media. Even left note with ‘thank you’ in Russian.
‘What an example for all teams!! Privilege to work with!’
Japan seemed destined to cause the latest shock of a dramatic World Cup when they carved out a 2-0 lead over Belgium in the second half in Rostov, thanks to two goals in four minutes from Genki Haraguchi (48) and Takashi Inui (52).
But Belgium replied with a quick-fire double of their own; Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen sparked the comeback in the 69th minute and Marouane Fellaini hauled Belgium level five minutes later.
Japan scorer Genki Haraguchi covered his face with a towel when the final whistle was blown
Japan midfielder Takashi Inui (left), who also scored, needed consoling after full-time
Belgium then stole the match in the 94th minute when Thibaut Courtois caught a Japan corner and started a sweeping counter-attack through Kevin De Bruyne.
De Bruyne found Thomas Muenier on the right, whose low cross was left by Romelu Lukaku for the onrushing Chadli to convert from close range.
Belgium play Brazil in the quarter-final at 7pm on Friday at the Kazan Arena.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.