Coach Okada praised his players for their efforts
Japan coach Takeshi Okada praised the courage of his team after their 1-0 defeat by the Netherlands.
Despite defending for much of the game, Japan had chances to score before and after Wesley Sneijder's winning goal.
Okada said: "During the first half we were not only concentrating on the defence. We expected the Netherlands to be frustrated.
"But defence alone was not enough. So I told our players to be very courageous and aggressive when we had the ball."
Despite the Dutch having the majority of possession, Japan came closest to scoring during the opening 45 minutes.
And after Sneijder's 53rd-minute strike, Okada's side continued to press and almost equalised in injury time, when Shinji Okazaki blazed over from eight yards out.
Okada added: "Our players did everything they could, but we could not beat the Netherlands. We feel sorry for the fans."
The result means Japan could be eliminated from the tournament if they fail to beat Denmark in their final group match.