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Nishino out as Samurai boss

The Associated Press

Akira Nishino

The Associated PressTOKYO (AP) — Despite leading his team to a thrilling and unexpected ride at the World Cup, Akira Nishino will not be back as Japan’s coach.

The Japan Football Association confirmed on Thursday that Nishino will not continue as coach of the national team when his term concludes at the end of July.

“We [the JFA] will not persuade Nishino to stay on the job as his term comes to an end,” JFA president Kozo Teshima told a media conference Thursday.

Japan’s squad returned home on Thursday following its round-of-16 defeat to Belgium at the World Cup in Russia.

The 63-year-old Nishino took over just two months before the World Cup following the surprise dismissal of Vahid Halilhodzic.

Exceeding expectations, Nishino led Japan to its first appearance in the knockout stage since 2010 in South Africa. In April, the JFA said Nishino would manage the team until the end of the tournament.

“I coached the team with the notion that I will only do this until the end of the World Cup. I feel like I’ve fulfilled my duties,” said Nishino, who was the JFA’s technical director before taking the job.

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