World Cup Soccer

Okada steps down as Japan coach

Tokyo, Japan (Sports Network) - Japan coach Takeshi Okada has stepped down as manager following the team's exit from the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday.

Okada guided Japan through the group stage, but the Samurai Blue lost in the opening round of the knockout stage to Paraguay on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw through 120 minutes.

"I've coached a lot of teams, but this World Cup team was definitely one of the best," Okada said, according to "I don't think I'll work with these players again. I just wish them all the best in their careers."

Okada also coached Japan in the 1998 World Cup. He started his second stint in 2007.

Japan technical director Hiromi Hara said the team will start searching for a new coach when the World Cup ends and hopes to have a new coach before the end of July.

Also, Japan veteran Shunsuke Nakamura retired from international football.

07/02 11:28:33 ET

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