Honda apologises for Japan failure

The AC Milan midfielder feels sorry they have been unable to live up the high expectations, while Alberto Zaccheroni was disappointed too
Keisuke Honda has offered his apologies for Japan's disappointing World Cup campaign after they crashed out at the group stage following defeats against Cote d'Ivoire and Colombia, and a draw against Greece.

The AC Milan midfielder claimed ahead of the tournament that they had what it takes to go all the way and win the tournament, yet Japan eventually had to settle for fourth place in Group C with just one point from three games.

"It's incredibly disappointing, but this is the reality," Honda told TV Asahi.

"I said we could win the title and I'm sorry we couldn't back that up. We'll take time to reflect."

Head coach Alberto Zaccheroni, meanwhile, was equally disappointed with Japan's exit and felt they deserved more in their final group game against Colombia, which ended in a 4-1 defeat.

"It's incredibly disappointing. We played well against Colombia and we could have done more," Zaccheroni stated.

"We wanted to score the first goal but Colombia's counterattacks were incredibly good. We weren't able to finish our chances, but it was a good match.

"I'm satisfied with how we played, but we weren't lucky. Our opponents were very good."

It's the third time in five World Cup appearances that Japan have crashed out in the group stages.