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Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Historic win for Japan
Japan coach Philippe Troussier
A triumphant Troussier after the Russia win
Japan coach Philippe Troussier dedicated the country's historic win against Russia to the Japanese people.

The 1-0 victory courtesy of Junichi Inamoto's second-half strike saw the tournament co-hosts to their first win in a World Cup finals.

"It is a huge moment for football in Japan that we are living right now," said Troussier.

"This is important for both Japanese football and the nation.

The coach said his team's stylish play was partly because the nation had such faith in the players.

Japanese fans
The Japanese crowd revel in their team's win

"We want to give them back this confidence and show them this is something very special to us.

"We want to carry on and qualify and show the people in Japan that we can play marvellous football."

A nation staging the World Cup has never failed to reach the second stage.

Co-hosts South Korea's win last Tuesday mounted more expectation on Japan's players.

"We had a lot of pressure on our shoulders and tonight we saw a brilliant Japanese side playing," said Troussier.

"They played together as a team and did a great job. I am very proud of being coach of this team.

Open Quote
The important thing is not to get carried away
Close Quote
Junichi Inamoto

"Everybody brought something important to the match and the whole performance would give them more confidence."

Japan's final Group H game is against Tunisia on Friday and Troussier believes his side are capable of qualifying for the second stage for the first time.

But he and goalscorer Inamoto did stress the need for caution.

Inamoto said: "The important thing is not to get carried away, to win the next game and advance to the next round in first place.

"I want to concentrate on the next game."


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP H
  P GD PTS
JAPAN 3 +3 7
BELGIUM 3 +1 5
RUSSIA 3 0 3
TUNISIA 3 -4 1




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