Takehiro Tomiyasu ‘can’t be proud’ of achievements after personal ‘disaster’ in Japan’s last-16 defeat by Croatia


Takehiro Tomiyasu says he cannot be proud of Japan’s achievements at the World Cup, despite beating Spain and Germany in the group stage.

Japan lost against Croatia on penalties in their round-of-16 tie after the match finished 1-1, with Tomiyasu, 23, labelling his own performance as a “disaster”.

“Of course, we are so disappointed with the result,” Tomiyasu said. “My performance was a disaster today so I am sorry for the team.

“I just need to be much, much better to help the team. It was not enough and also for the team, we did not deserve to win.

“We were so close to achieving our aim. They were better than us.”

Japan topped their group after wins over former World Cup winners Spain and Germany amid a loss against Costa Rica, but Tomiyasu appeared to brush off any suggestions of achievement in the wake of their tournament exit.

“I can’t be proud,” he continued. “I am not satisfied about what happened. This is football and we need to be much, much better to win against a stronger team.”

Tomiyasu’s attentions will shortly turn to resuming the domestic campaign with Arsenal.

The north London side will be in Dubai as part of a training programme before the Premier League season resumes on December 26 but Tomiyasu was unclear about whether he will link up with his club-mates.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked about joining the rest of Mikel Arteta’s squad. “Hopefully, I can get a bit of rest. I need time to forget about football. I need a bit of time.”

Arsenal’s first game back after the World Cup break is against West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium on December 26.



Japan have beaten Germany and Spain — who knows how far this fearless group can go



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