World Cup

Japan fans drown sorrows after World Cup exit

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Colombia's forward Jackson Martinez (L) strikes to score a goal as

Colombia's forward Jackson Martinez (L) strikes to score a goal as Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima defends during the Group C football match between Japan and Colombia at the Pantanal Arena in Cuiaba during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday. AFP photo  

By Agencies

Posted  Wednesday, June 25   2014 at  11:28

In Summary

Japan picked up just one point against Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia in Brazil after reaching the last 16 four years ago

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TOKYO - Groggy Japan fans reacted with sadness early Wednesday after watching their team exit the World Cup, some deciding to numb the pain after the horror show with one more drink.

Having watched the Blue Samurai crushed 4-1 by a rampant Colombia, it was little wonder blue-clad fans who had been drinking all night opted to have another for the road.

"Why, why, why?" wailed sales assistant Mami Shibata, 24, slumped on the floor with her face poking over the top of a table at a Tokyo bar. "I've had enough of the World Cup."

Her exasperation was shared by many as they stared into their glasses following the game, which kicked off at 5:00 am Japanese time.

"Let's be honest, it was like boys against men," said computer programmer Akinori Higashi, 40. "Colombia were so quick and strong, the Japanese players just bounced off them. They were too good."

Japan picked up just one point against Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia in Brazil after reaching the last 16 four years ago.

The Japanese government also weighed in on the team's elimination.

"It's a huge disappointment," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. "My predictions were way off. Italy and England also went out. I'd like to say thank you to the Japan players and coaching staff."

Jewelry designer Masako Honda tried in vain to stifle her sobs while watching Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda's tearful post-match interview.

"Honda said we could win the World Cup," said the 32-year-old, shaking her head in disbelief that Japan's talisman failed to fulfil his promise to the nation. "I expected better results."

Many Japan fans reacted more philosophically.

Sitting on a curb sipping quietly from a beer can, cycle shop employee Masahiro Doi, 36, said: "You get so revved up because it's the World Cup. You believe the hype. But it's not the end of the world."

Bars were plunged into silence after Colombia turned on the power in the second half in Cuiaba, scoring three times to extinguish Japan's faint hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.

"It's not like I even like football that much," grumbled Shibata, finally standing up and preparing to leave. "The World Cup is different. It's an excuse for a party and now we're out."

Jaws hit the floor as Colombia's fourth goal flew in and a Japanese television commentator helpfully pointed out: "This is a tough situation now."

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