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2010 FIFA World Cup™

Japan-Cameroon: Quotes

Takeshi Okada head coach of Japan and his team stand during their National Anthem
© Getty Images

Takeshi Okada, Japan coach
Cameroon are a side that are very gifted technically and play at a very high level physically. We were prepared for a very tough game. I told the players they couldn’t just be defensive and they had to alternate between attacking spells and defensive ones. In the first half, we had a few difficult moments, but we put lots of pressure on them and were able to score. After that, they attacked us, but our defence did a good job. I think we’ll need to be more aggressive in the future, though. This match is only our preparation for the second one and we still need to improve. I don’t think it was a great success – what’s important is the next game.

Paul Le Guen, Cameroon coach
My regret is that my players weren’t able to play at the level they can. I think they were too nervous in the first half. They fought well afterwards but in an unorganised manner. We missed an incalculable number of easy balls. This is my biggest disappointment. It’s very frustrating to see your team play at a level that’s beneath them.

Keisuke Honda, Japan forward and Budweiser Man of the MatchOur strength was our collective force, we kept going for the 90 minutes and defended really solidly and that was the key. For my goal, the ball in was very good so I told myself to be calm enough to take it. I knew that when we had a chance we had to take it.

Marco Tulio Tanaka, Japan defenderCameroon are a very strong team with many players at different clubs around the world. It was very difficult but we stuck together in defence and kept them out.

Stephane Mbia, Cameroon midfielderWe simply have to beat Denmark now, that's certain. We've no more margin for error. It really affected us losing the goal but we can't let our heads drop. We wanted to win, we started well and we knew Japan could score on a counter or through a mistake on our part – that is what happened.

Jean Makoun, Cameroon midfielderJapan defended really well. They put us under pressure and didn't succumb to our pressure. We didn't attack with enough conviction but we did better in the second half and created chances. We lacked precision.

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