Akira Nishino won’t continue as Japan coach after World Cup 2018 heartbreak

first_imgJapan coach Akira Nishino is unlikely to continue his role after the heartbreaking exit from FIFA World Cup 2018 earlier this week.The Japan Football Association (JFA) confirmed on Thursday that Nishino will step down from the post when his term ends at the end of July.Belgium beat Japan 3-2 in the penalty shootout after Japan let a two-goal lead slip with under 20 minutes left in the Round of 16 game.World Cup 2018: Japan win hearts with gesture after loss vs Belgium”We will not ask Nishino to stay on the job but hope he will continue to make contribution to Japanese football in other forms,” said JFA President Kozo Tashima at a press conference after the national team returned from Russia.READ – A nation in tears after Japan’s heartbreaking exitThe 63-year-old had taken over just two months before the World Cup following the surprise dismissal of Vahid Halilhodzic.Nishino, who also appeared at the press conference, thanked his team, saying that he hopes Japan could break the cycle of reaching the World Cup round of 16 every eight years (in 2002, 2010, 2018) and make a breakthrough at Qatar 2022, reports Xinhua news agency.READ – ‘Japan played like warriors’ – Blue Samurais win hearts”I coached the team with the notion that I will only do this until the end of the World Cup. I feel like I’ve fulfilled my duties,” said Nishino, who was the JFA’s technical director before taking the job.READ – Japanese fans clean stadium even after heartbreaking exitadvertisementNishino took up the job after the JFA abruptly fired former head coach Vahid Halilhodzic in April, citing lack of trust and communication between Halilhodzic and his team members.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEFour years after a hugely disappointing campaign in Brazil, Japan entered the World Cup as one of the lowest-ranked sides. Few expected the Blue Samurai to get out of their group, not least because of the change at the top.But following a 2-1 victory over Colombia and a 2-2 draw with Senegal, Japan advanced from its group despite a 1-0 defeat to Poland in its final group match.Admittedly, its progress was down to the fact that it received fewer yellow cards than Senegal after the teams could not be separated on points, goal difference or goals scored.After a series of lackluster results in friendlies under Halilhodzic leading up to the World Cup, the JFA sacked the Bosnian saying there were communication problems between him and some of the players.Nishino took over with little time to prepare and got Japan to play a more attacking style which was on display when they took a surprising 2-0 lead over Belgium before three late goals dashed hopes of an upset.(With AP inputs)last_img

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