In Summary
  • For Brazil, the first team — aside from hosts Russia — to qualify for the 2018 showpiece, it was also an occasion for Tite to study some of the fringe players in the squad.
  • First-half goals from Neymar, Marcelo and Gabriel Jesus condemned Japan to a 3-1 defeat — their 10th in 12 meetings with Brazil — in Lille despite a much-improved display after the interval.

LILLE

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic rued his team's "naivety" after losing to Brazil but insisted there were plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next year's World Cup.

First-half goals from Neymar, Marcelo and Gabriel Jesus condemned Japan to a 3-1 defeat — their 10th in 12 meetings with Brazil — in Lille despite a much-improved display after the interval.

"I don't know what was happening in their heads in the first half," said Halilhodzic, who will lead Japan into a sixth straight finals appearance in Russia.

"The penalty (which Neymar converted) was whistled because of the video (assistant referee) and perhaps that threw the team off.

"It's a shame about the first half, the second half gave me quite a bit of satisfaction.

"I see plenty of things we need to improve and we'll draw a lot of things from this match."

Tomoaki Makino grabbed a consolation for Japan with a second-half header, and Halilhodzic said it could have been much different but for a woeful start.

"The second half was completely different. I made a few fixes at half-time, both mentally and tactically," he said.

"I wasn't disappointed with the first half, but I was not satisfied with the mental aspect. From time to time we showed this naivety. When you see the second half we basically matched them and even dominated possession."

Halilhodzic masterminded impressive Algeria's run to the last 16 at the last World Cup in Brazil, where they fell 2-1 to eventual champions Germany after extra time.

"I would love to do the same thing, why not even more. Anything is possible in football," he said.

"If we finished the first half 0-0, it's easy to say we could have pulled off a huge surprise. Unfortunately things happened as they did.

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