France, June 20 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Japan's national women's football team head coach Asako Takakura bemoaned her team's lack of penetration in a 2-0 loss to England at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup here on Wednesday.
"We created some chances, but the fact that we couldn't score a goal was purely because of our lack of scoring ability. England's defenders and goalkeeper were brilliant," Takakura told a news conference.
Japan had 16 shots on goal to their opponents' 14, but failed to convert any of them into a goal. Despite this, Japan secured their berth in the knockout stages after placing second in Group D.
"England are a very good team, very powerful, and their attack is very quick. We tried to respond to that. We conceded a goal in the first half because of a mistake, and backed off a little bit because of that. In the second half we found our rhythm again, but unfortunately we couldn't score, and England scored again.
"We managed to get through to the knockout stage. We know the things that we need to do and things we shouldn't do from our previous matches. From now on, we need to make maximum effort in the next match, and be prepared for the next round," Takakura noted.
"The knockout stage is completely different. I've assessed individual players and the outcome is clear. We have to head towards the next match in a collective manner," she added.
Takakura added that her side would have to start their next match more quickly. "We had a bit of a slow start in the first half [against England]. I did talk to the players about that and they tried to adjust their approach."
She admitted, "If we keep playing the way we have been, we will be knocked out in the next round, and players are aware of that."
"They have strength and good abilities. Unless they can show that on the pitch, we cannot deliver a good result. We need everyone to try to demonstrate that on the pitch, and we have to keep pushing," she pointed out.