Akira Nishino admits that he believed his side had the game under control despite losing in dramatic fashion to Belgium, as the Red Devils ran out 3-2 winners in Rostov.
Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui gave Japan a 2-0 lead early in the second half, but an inspired comeback saw goals from Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini alongside a last minute goal from Nacer Chadli turn the game on its head.
Speaking after the defeat, Nishino stated (via Diario Las Americas): "We went for the win, we looked for the win and in the end we found a defeat that we did not expect, I saw the team strong and that's why I thought about winning, in any case, I saw the situation as, controlled.
"I had several options for different match situations but situations like tonight are difficult to control and prepare for. We started very well but in the end, with the game over, waiting for extra-time, we conceded an unexpected goal.
"We had the game under control, the team was fine. We were 2-0 up and saw that we could even score another goal, we had chances, we controlled the ball to a team that handled it better."
Talking about Belgium's last-minute goal which eliminated his side, the 63-year-old revealed: "It was a corner in our favour and before a foul. The ball was in our field. We wanted to settle and finish although it is true that the most logical was extra-time. We did not expect, of course, that perfect counter-attack. In a few seconds the ball went from one area to another and the match was decided."