Japan's tactical prowess shines through in exit on penalties

Japan's tactical prowess shines through in exit on penalties

We said at the group stages, first of all it was about qualification then it was about topping the group and obviously when you get to knockout football it is what it says it is. "Something that we have used before and like I said we have a strategy for taking penalty shootouts and whoever is in is in the list whether he is an outfield player, or a sub or a goalkeeper.very much in the plan".

"Jadon (Sancho) loves playing for England and this team in particular so it's sad to see him go", Cooper said.

Sancho, a vital cog in England's free-flowing wheel throughout the group stages, on Monday left for Germany where he plays for German club Borussia Dortmund and would play no further part in the tournament.

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Japan would go on to end the normal time of play with five shots on target, one more than their European counterparts - one of the least probable outcomes considering the attacking riches England possess. It has been awesome, so good for the players, not just England but all the players in such developmental tournaments. In the end, the penalty shootout provided a fitting end to an engrossing goalless draw. "We are on the back of a good summer and the success in the tournament makes us proud of our performances". It's been incredible attendance here, so good for players for players and all the teams to play in front of such a crowd atmosphere in a developmental tournament like this. "The local public need a pat in the back for that". While England enjoyed most of the possession and created more goal-scoring chances, Japan's resilience at the back meant the game was too close to call at certain junctures.

"We did not concede that was a massive plus". Mali are also through to the quarter-finals after beating Iraq 5-1 and they will face the winners of Wednesday's meeting between Ghana and Niger. Japan will feel hard done by. Yes, Japan had a few shots from the edge of the penalty area but they didn't have clear cut chances because of how we defended around the box.

"We're staying focused, not getting carried away and looking forward to a really tough game coming up against the United States", he said. "I am not surprised either by the fight or the football Japan played".

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