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Okada set to step down

Japan boss takes responsibility after heartbreaking penalty defeat

Last Updated: 29/06/10 9:44pm

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Okada: Likely to step down

Okada: Likely to step down

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Japan coach Takeshi Okada is likely to step down after his side crashed out of the World Cup to Paraguay.

Following a cagey match at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium, Japan lost 5-3 on penalties after Yuichi Komano smashed his spot-kick against the crossbar.

Despite the failure to reach the last eight for the first time in their history, Okada was proud of his side, who were the last Asian team left in the tournament.

But he took full responsibility for the defeat and is now likely to stand down as national team boss.

Anything left

"I don't think I have anything left to do now, probably," Okada told a news conference when asked if he would now be leaving, although he said a definite decision would take time.

"It's my responsibility, we did not insist enough. I can not elaborate any further. When I look back at what I could have done for the players and what I did as a head coach I should have been more insistent on winning."

The match was drifting towards penalties as early as the middle of the second half but Okada was adamant he was going for the win, even if his side did not really up the tempo.

"All substitutions and changes I made were to try to push," said Okada.

"It's difficult to narrow down why we couldn't score. We are not a team that can score lots of goals."

No regrets

He added: "In terms of how we played I have no regrets at all. The players were wonderful, really wonderful and I'm truly proud.

"They represented Japan and also Asia as a whole and they played until the end so I'm proud of them.

"I was not able to make them win, that's my responsibility, I did not make them eager enough."

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