Celtic ace Daizen Maeda will unfortunately be heading how with the rest of his Japan teammates as his country crashed out of the FIFA World Cup at the last 16 stage after losing 3-1 on penalties to Croatia after a 1-1 draw.
But Maeda can certainly keep his head held high, as the Celtic forward was absolutely IMMENSE today against Croatia, particularly in the first half where he scored Japan’s opening goal.
Maeda pressed non-stop for his side, much like he has done in every game he has played this tournament.
And he was rewarded for his efforts as the ball fell to him inside the box just before half time, with Maeda using his quick instincts to slot the ball home first time with his weaker left foot.
His brilliant performance led to Rio Ferdinand saying in the studio of the Celtic man:
“An absolute livewire. He looks like a man possessed. You wouldn’t want to play against that. With and without the ball he’s an absolute nuisance… the catalyst for the others.”
Stupidly, Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu took Maeda off after 64 minutes, and totally took away any goal scoring threat Japan had in the game.
You can see from the stats below just how influential Maeda was in the game today.