Japan’s World Cup ended in heartbreak after a penalty shootout defeat to Croatia in the round of 16 on Monday.
After a 1-1 draw during normal time and a goalless extra time period that failed to separate the two teams, it all came down to penalties at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.
Takumi Minamino, Karou Mitoma and Maya Yoshida failed to convert from the spot, however, largely due to some exceptional goalkeeping from Dominik Livakovic, leaving Mario Pasalic to calmly slot his penalty into the corner and send Croatia into the quarter-finals.
Arsenal’s versatile defender Takehiro Tomiyasu played the full 120 minutes for Japan but has admitted that the result has taken its toll.
The 24-year-old described his individual performance as a ‘disaster’ and has suggested he needs time away from football to regroup following the loss.
“Hopefully I can get a bit of rest. I need time to forget about football. I need a bit of time,” Tomiyasu said.
“Of course, we are so disappointed with the result. My performance was a disaster today so I am sorry for the team.”
“I just need to be much better to help the team. It was not enough and also for the team we did not deserve to win. We were so close to achieving our aim.”
“They were better than us. I can’t be proud. I am not satisfied about what happened. This is football and yeah, we need to be much, much better to win against a stronger team,” he added.
Arsenal will restart their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Boxing Day, with Mikel Arteta’s side holding a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table.
Tomiyasu has started four games along with seven substitute appearances so far this season but provides valuable cover across the entire back four.
The Gunners will no doubt be hoping to have back and in a better place mentally once the season resumes.