Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic blames his side’s “naivety” for Brazil defeat

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic blamed the “naivety” of his team following the 3-1 defeat against Brazil at home in an international friendly on Friday.

“I don’t know what was happening in their heads in the first half,” said Halilhodzic to AFP.

“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,” he added.

However, the Bosnian believed there were plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“With these types of matches we’re also here to learn — Brazil are on a different planet,” he insisted.

“You have to be realistic, I already told the players (Brazil) are the best team in the world.

“When you play against Neymar, Willian, Gabriel Jesus, you have to lift your level.

“We have seven or eight months to work and try and achieve the same thing we did with Algeria.”

Japan, which now has two draws and 10 losses against Brazil, will meet world’s fifth-ranked Belgium on Tuesday in Bruges.