Millennium Post

Japan clean dressing room and leave thank you note in Russian despite last-gasp loss

JAPAN may have been knocked out of the World Cup but they have won the hearts of football fans in Russia.

After their fans stayed behind to clean the stadium following their last-gasp defeat to Belgium, the first-team players also left their mark in the dressing room.

Japan, who have never won a knockout game, came so close to producing a giant-killing after going two goals ahead in the second half.

But their players were left distraught when Nacer Chadli scored a 94th minute winner to complete a sensational comeback for Roberto Martinez's side. Despite this they made the effort the leave the changing room immaculate and left a message in Russian, "Spasibo", that translates to thank you.

Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui had Akira Nishino's side dreaming of a first ever World Cup quarter-final spot.

But first Jan Vertonghen's looped header found the net, Marouane Fellaini added a second and Chadli struck at the death to make it 3-2.

Images showed Japan fans with tears streaming down their faces at full-time.

But they proved they were not sore losers by cleaning up the Rostov Arena after the final whistle.

They did the same after their stunning win over Group H opponents Colombia earlier in the finals.

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