Japan to replace coach Akira Nishino after World Cup exit

2018-07-06 06:23:40 GMT2018-07-06 14:23:40(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Japan coach Akira Nishino became the fourth coach who will not continue as the head of their national team in the wake of the World Cup finals, he confirmed on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters as the Japanese side returned to Tokyo following their 3-2 defeat to Belgium in the last 16, Nishino admitted that defeat, which came after Japan had been leading 2-0 with goals in the 48th and 52nd minute, would be his last in charge.

"My contract ends at the end of this month and I have been working on the assumption that this job would last from the moment I was appointed to the end of the World Cup," he said.

Nishino was only named as Japan coach two months ahead of the World Cup finals, following the surprise dismissal of Vahid Halihodzic. The Japanese Football Association (JFA) has said they will name their new coach before the end of July.

Other coaches who are not continuing after the World Cup are Egypt's Hector Cuper, Poland's Adam Nawalka and Oscar Ramirez of Costa Rica, while Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui two days before the World Cup started and his replacement Fernando Hierro was only put in charge on a temporary basis.

Japan captain Makoto Hasebe also confirmed he was retiring from international football after representing his country on 114 occasions.

"People didn't expect much of us and we were able to turn things around and I think everyone got interested in football again, so we did a good job," Hasebe told reporters.

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