Kaoru Mitoma has revealed the secret to his starring role in Japan knocking Germany out of the World Cup – inheriting his parents’ long legs!
Goal-line technology was used to prove Mitoma successfully kept the ball in play to set up Japan’s winner in their 2-1 win over Spain.
Brighton midfielder Mitoma told talkSPORT: “The ball was definitely in, yes. I didn’t see it all but I saw a bit and I was saying ‘between, between, between’.
“Everyone believed it was in there and I really like VAR.
“I really appreciate my parents [for giving me long legs].
“My decision was a bit quick and I don’t know why my pass bounced off my teammate as it was a bit difficult.”
Mitoma is now preparing another surprise when Japan take on 2018 runners-up Croatia for a quarter-final spot on Monday.
He said: “I’m very happy to beat great opponents like Germany and Spain.
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“No one expected these results but the Japan team believed in it and we fought for it, all players, staff and coaches.
“I’m very proud of these results and it’s huge for the Japanese fans and for the future of Japan.
“Beating Spain and Germany in the group has never happened before and we have great potential going forward.
“I’m very excited to play against Croatia and also against great opponents.”