Japanese fans were left heartbroken after their team lost to Croatia on penalty kicks on December 5. While both teams managed to have an even score of 1-1 throughout the match, as a tiebreaker, the organisers sought a penalty kick out. Here Croatians managed to score 3 goals out of their four attempts while Japan managed to score only one goal as Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livaković masterfully stalled the rest of their attempts.
The Japanese fans and players looked heartbroken as the thrilling shootout ended their dreams of reaching the quarterfinals. However, despite this disappointment, Japanese football manager Hajime Moriyasu showed his gratitude and appreciation for the fans at the Al Janoub Stadium by bowing to them. Pictures of his respectful gesture have gone viral across social media.
On Tuesday, sports outlet ESPN shared a picture of Hajime Moriyasu bowing as he faced the crowd.
This picture soon managed over two lakh likes in just a few hours. Commenting on the picture, a Twitter user wrote, “Can’t wait to see them again in the next world cup. A country that is very enjoyable to watch and very respected by so many other football fans. From the fans to the players, all of them are very disciplined and friendly people. To beat Germany and Spain is not easy. Respect 👏”.
In a post-match press briefing, Moriyasu appreciated his team and said, “The players showed a new era of Japanese football. They showed how good they can play in such a tournament like the World Cup. I hope they keep on the same way and I think Japanese football can continue to grow.”