• Kyodo

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Japan head coach Akira Nishino revealed Saturday that he apologized to his players for making them hold onto the ball and avoid attacking late in their final World Cup group game against Poland, in a tactical move which saw them loudly jeered by spectators.

In a brief exchange with reporters at Japan’s World Cup base in Kazan, the 63-year-old coach said he had told players the previous day at a team meeting that “I am the one responsible” for the decision and any subsequent criticism.

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