Japan manager Akira Nishino believes his team should take confidence from their battling 2-2 draw with Senegal, though he admitted he would have liked his side to have taken all three points from the game.
The Samurai Blue went behind twice during the match but refused to lie down and goals from Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda allowed Nishino's side to rescue a point and remain in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages.
Speaking in his post-match press conference (via ESPN), Nishino said: “It was a tough match, and we always knew it was going to be tough,” he said.
“We knew Senegal were not a team we could win easily against. But the team were calm after conceding goals and it was positive that we were able to equalise twice.
“We constructed attacks well and played in our own rhythm. The substitutions also worked well and I think I did very well with the timing of those.
“The players were very confident and positive, and I myself thought we could have gone for the victory. And we really wanted to win this match.
“But Senegal are a very strong team and I hope that this result will lead to more success in our next match.”
Senegal had the brighter start of the two sides in the match but Japan impressed with their fighting spirit and had the better of the chances in the second half, leaving some fans wondering whether they could have snatched a late winner from the game.
Japan face Poland in their final match in Group H and know that a point will be enough to qualify for the knockout stages after taking three points from Colombia in their opening match of the World Cup.