Alberto Zaccheroni: 'We gave Ivory Coast too much space'

Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni gestures during a Group C football match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
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Japan boss Alberto Zaccheroni criticises his team for affording Ivory Coast "too much room" in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to the African outfit.

Japan boss Alberto Zaccheroni has admitted that his team afforded Ivory Coast "too much room" in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to the African outfit.

Keisuke Honda gave Japan a first-half lead, but goals from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho secured all three points for Ivory Coast in their World Cup opener.

"In general we started well and played dynamically in the opening stages," the 61-year-old told reporters.

"As for what happened, Ivory Coast increased their strength and were able to beat us. It was true in the last 20 minutes of the first half as well but we weren't able to attack them enough.

"We let them attack us when we should have played more aggressively. We gave their players too much space and didn't play well defensively or offensively. Ivory Coast won because they had space. Normally we can play quickly but we gave them too much room."

Japan are next in action against Greece on June 19.

Gervinho of the Ivory Coast celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teammate Didier Drogba during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between the Ivory Coast and Japan at Arena Pernambuco on June 14, 2014
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