After playing a major part in Brighton's run to the FA Cup semifinals, Kaoru Mitoma believes Japan's World Cup hopes can be improved by having more players with experience going deep into knockout competitions with their European clubs.

The winger scored a memorable late winner against holders Liverpool in the fourth round before Brighton's eventual exit in a penalty shootout loss to Manchester United following a goalless semifinal at Wembley.

"Sometimes you cannot try out things in one-off cup games that you can in league matches. The tension is that much higher," Mitoma said recently. "You lose and you're out, and the fear and joy that comes with that is what football is all about."