Maya Yoshida admits Japan ‘were too naive and fragile’ in their 3-2 last 16 defeat to Belgium at the World Cup.

The Samurai Blue threw away a 2-0 lead at the Rostov Arena as Belgium came back to win 3-2 with a last-minute goal by Nacer Chadli.

“We had the win in our hands, but it slipped away from us,” Yoshida told

“We have often suffered when defending set-pieces, and that might be part of the reason. But in general, we were very poor at closing out the game after we got those two goals in the second half. ”

Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui put Japan two up soon after the break, but Belgium rallied, pulling two back in the space of five minutes through Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini.

With extra-time approaching, Belgium attacked, streaming down to the Japan box, where Thomas Meunier’s pass found Chadli to slot in a 94th-minute winner.

Yoshida added: “Maybe there was a bit of mental weakness. But I just have no idea why it happened, whether it was over-confidence or a lack of experience at this stage of the competition - we were too naive and fragile. We could have played much better.”

“We played good football tonight. But as sometimes happens against a 'big' team, we couldn’t make it count. The Japan Football Association and the players must think seriously about our future youth development now. Physically, I think we can make up the gap between us and the more powerful teams. But this is a major problem.”

“Thinking only of tonight’s game, you’d have to say that there are plenty of things to be sorted out. However, if you look at our tournament performance as a whole, you can see that we were capable of competing and playing attractive football at this level. I think we impressed not only our fans, but the rest of the world as well.

"As for the organisation of this tournament, let me give many thanks to the volunteers for their devoted work. Thanks to them, I really enjoyed this month!”