Japan players receive incredible hero's welcome at airport after World Cup, it's spine-tingling to watch
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Japan players received a spine-tingling reception from fans after arriving home from their spectacular World Cup campaign in Qatar.
Hajime Moriyasu’s men were placed in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ alongside former World Cup champions Germany and Spain as well as Costa Rica.
However, an unfazed Japan produced a sensational comeback win over Germany in their Group E opener before suffering a shock defeat to Costa Rica.
With a potential World Cup exit looming, Moriyasu’s side staged another superb comeback against Spain in their final Group E match.
Alvaro Morata fired Spain into an early lead, but in the second half, Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka scored three minutes either side of each other to seal the win for Japan.
Japan stunned the world by finishing top of Group E ahead of Spain, with their win over Luis Enrique’s men sending Germany crashing out of the World Cup.
However, it was only heartbreak waiting for Japan in the knockout rounds as 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia defeated them 3-1 on penalties in the last 16.
Despite their exit in the round of 16, Japan’s manager and players received a much-deserved hero’s welcome from a massive crowd at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba.
The Japan players received flowers and a thunderous reception from eager fans at the airport, which can be viewed above in the video player.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Japan manager Moriyasu said: “With individual skills and team effort, our players proved we can be competitive on the global stage.”
Moriyasu also added that there will be a “different future” for Japan in the world of football after they defied the odds at the World Cup.
“I don’t think they succumbed to pressure,” he explained.
“The players who played the 120 minutes and those who took the penalties were courageous. I would like to praise their efforts, they tried under such immense pressure.
“Of course, we wanted to win and the result is unfortunate, but it does not negate all the efforts of the players... We couldn’t break the barrier towards the final eight, but the players were able to show a new generation of Japanese soccer.
“We beat Germany and Spain -- both World Cup champions. We should be confident in our ability and if we aim not just to catch up to but to surpass, I think there will be a different future ahead for Japanese soccer.”