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Back tackle who decided to be eliminated from Japan… Itakura said, “I lost because of me. I don’t have qualification for national team.”

Japanese defender Itakura Ko, who provided an excuse for defeat in the match against Iran, blamed himself for the defeat.

Japan, led by head coach Moriyasu Hajime, lost 1-2 against Iran in the quarterfinals of the 2023 AFC Qatar Asian Cup at 8:30 p.m. on the 3rd (Korea Standard Time) at Education City Stadium. In the 28th minute of the first half, Hidemasa Morita scored the first goal, but Japan collapsed after losing consecutive points to Mohammad Mohebi in the 10th minute of the second half and Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the 45+6th minute of the second half.

The player who received the most criticism after the match was Japanese center back Ko Itakura. In the match, Itakura had difficulty in blocking Iranian strikers with strong physical strength, but he made the mistake of conceding a penalty kick that led to his crawl into defeat with an unstable tackle in the box right before the end of the second half. Given that the penalty kick ultimately resulted in a victory or defeat, Itakura could not raise his head.

In a post-match interview, Itakura blamed himself for the loss. According to Japanese soccer media Soccer King, Itakura said, “I’m so sorry. There were many people who cheered me on in Japan, including my teammates. I think I would have won if I played better. I’m really sorry.”

As for the scene where he gave away the penalty kick, he said, “I wish I had cleared it in the previous situation,” and regretted that he couldn’t cut off the opponent’s pass with his header, and blamed himself, “I am reflecting on my narrow vision where I could not see anyone penetrating behind me. At that time, all I could see was the ball.” 마카오토토도메인

“Not only the last loss, but also when I lost a point in the previous circumstances, I started from my position. That’s why I feel responsible,” he said. “Personally, I’ve never broken a game like this before. I don’t think I’ll be qualified for the national team at this rate. I have to work harder.”

Itakura is now a really highly regarded center back in the Bundesliga and once struggled with one of the alternative resources to fill the void of Kim Min-jae, who left the team at Napoli. However, Itakura made a career-staining performance at this Asian Cup.

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