Japan coach Philippe Troussier hailed his team’s fighting spirit after a gritty performance against Tunisia earned the co-hosts a place in the last 16.
“This is due, amongst other things, to the Japanese spirit. It’s a victory for Japanese courage and willingness to be aggressive and to take things on,” said Troussier.
“We’never calculated, we never tried to work out mathematically how we could qualify. We always tried to play an ambitious, attacking football and that’s what won us the match today,” he said.
Troussier, said the hosts had no reason to fear their second round opponents Turkey.
“We’ll go into that match with a lot of confidence, we don’t have suspensions, and we’re creating a dynamic, a momentum,” he added..
“I’m very, very proud of the players’ performance today. The side merits it. It’s the fruit of all our work and above all we are very, very happy.
“It’s been a great journey for us. We are not tired, we are well in the hunt, we are sure of ourselves and we are ready for the next match.”