Japan's incredible run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup came to an end on Monday in a penalty-shootout loss to Croatia.
The Samurai Blue were impressive over 120 minutes, as they held the 2018 runner-up to one goal.
Unfortunately for Japan, it had three penalties saved by Dominik Livaković and was eliminated.
There was plenty of praise across the soccer world for Japan after the loss. Japan surprisingly won Group E with historic victories over Spain and Germany:
Match of the Day @BBCMOTD
Commiserations, Japan 🙏<br><br>WHAT a tournament from the Blue Samurai <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCFootball?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BBCFootball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCWorldCup?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BBCWorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/HVNiE1PF0g">pic.twitter.com/HVNiE1PF0g</a>
Most of the reaction to Japan's loss was positive because of the nation's overall performance in Qatar, but there were some critics of its penalty takers, who went 1-for-4 against Livaković.
Japan advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup for the third time in its last four appearances. The nation will be looking for its elusive quarterfinal berth when the 2026 World Cup rolls around.
The Asian side has plenty of young talent and could once again make a mark on the tournament in four years.
Dougie Critchley @DougieCritchley
Fair play Japan you were brilliant.<br><br>A unique style, incredible fans and players like Ito, Doan and Mitoma, who represent Reims, Freiburg and Brighton, embarrassing some of the World’s biggest football nations and best players.<br><br>Already excited to see this team in 2026 👏
Eighteen of the players that were on the 2022 World Cup roster are under 30, and a majority of them play in some of the biggest leagues in Europe, like Daichi Kamada at Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany and Takumi Minamino at Monaco in France's Ligue 1.
Four more years of development should help Japan once again get back to the World Cup knockout round.