AL WAKRA (QATAR), Dec. 5 (dpa/EP) –

The Japan coach, Hajime Moriyasu, was disappointed with the elimination on Monday from the World Cup in Qatar after losing on penalties to Croatia in the round of 16, but he wanted to give value to the image that his players have given.

“The result is painful for us, but the players can rest easy because they have competed on the most important stage in the world of football. I hope they continue like this because Japanese football can continue to grow,” Moriyasu said after the defeat.

The ‘Blue Samurai’ coach regretted that they could not “mark the milestone” of reaching the quarterfinals in a World Cup for the first time. “But we won against Spain and Germany, who are former world champions, and we have shown that Japan can win big on the world stage. The players have established a new era,” he said.