Yasushi Yoshida, Japan coach: "Despite the fact that we lost, my players were able to stick to the game plan, and that makes me happy. For these players, this is really the beginning of their careers, so I hope they remember this feeling and take strength from it moving forward. We had a bit of a let down at the end of regulation. Whether that was because of fitness, I don't know, but we did struggle to return to our original intensity after they scored. In the second half, I changed some players to try to keep us fresh, but we weren't able to keep up with their attack. I was hoping we would be able to counter them as they pushed forward, but it didn't work out that way. But, ultimately, I am glad that it was such an exciting match for the supporters for our fourth match in Victoria."
Miroslav Soukup, Czech Republic coach: "Japan showed why they finished first in their group. But, we found some strength, and we were able to turn things around and even the match. And in the end, we were just a little bit more lucky and we won. We took advantage of some lucky breaks when we were behind, and after a few changes to the line-up we were more active on the field and more offensive. I am happy we turned it around. I promised the players I would shave my head as they did if we won, and certainly it still applies. I will do it, and I will do it gladly. I don't know any coach who is not nervous about penalties.
Maybe I was calm on the outside, but inside I really was living with the match. I am glad that the people got to see a very interesting and a very good match. It was exciting until the last second. Right now, I am just enjoying this win, so I can't really address playing Spain. Before the tournament, I thought they would reach the semi-finals, and I am happy to have the chance to play them."
Akihiro Hayashi, Japan goalkeeper: "I felt like we didn't play to our brand of football, which is a lot of combination play, and instead we relied too much on kick and rush. We were trying to play long ball to Yauhito Morishima and work off of him, but maybe we went too far and away from our strength. The match started to shift to their rhythm and they took advantage. I got my hand on one of the penalty kicks. It was hard and placed well, but I cannot be a world-class keeper unless I stop that. Every time we weren't decisive, they were good at taking advantage. You can't sit back against them and wait for the match, you have to keep moving forward."