Japan coach Philippe Troussier pronounced himself satisfied with his side’s performance following their 2-2 draw with Belgium but admitted that inexperience played its’ part in Belgium’s equaliser.
“We played to win with our qualities and our faults and we also showed our inexperience,’ said Troussier.
Frenchman Troussier added that he thought Japan now had a genuine chance of qualifying from the Group H which also includes Tunisia and Russia.
“Everything is possible now, we really believe that,’ after Japan had come from behind to lead in Saitama, before being pegged back by a Belgian equaliser.
Belgian coach expressed his surprise that his players did not physically dominate the Japanese. “They were superior because of their timing,’ he said. ‘That I did not expect,”
“Before the match a lot of people told me that we would have the advantage in the air because of the difference in height,” he explained. “But today they were really superior.
“Looking back I can be satisfied that we came back from behind in a difficult phase of the match,” added Waseige.
“Instead of playing freely after we went ahead, some fear came into my team, which lead to some mistakes that were punished.
“We gave away the lead by stupidly losing the ball, but that came about because we got tired in the heat.”
However, Waseige refused to single out Van der Heyden for blame after the defender lost possession in the movethat led to Japan’s second goal.
“He still is a rookie on the World Cup stage, you must not forget that,” hesaid. “Mistakes are part of football, but he recovered extremely well by scoring a very good goal.”