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World Cup: Japanese player honored despite miss

July 2, 2010 | 11:37 am

Japan_200 Japanese defender Yuichi Komano, whose missed penalty kick led to his country's exit from the World Cup, will receive a special award from his home state.

Yoshinobu Nisaka, the governor of Wakayama state, told reporters Friday that he would present Komano with a special award for "giving people dreams and emotions."

After playing to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay, Japan lost, 5-3, in the shootout when Komano sent his shot high and it bounced off the crossbar. It was the only miss in the shootout and Komano, who broke down in tears, had to be consoled by several teammates before leaving the field.

Japan surprised many at the World Cup by beating Cameroon and Denmark in group matches before losing to Paraguay in the round of 16 on Tuesday.

-- Kevin Baxter in Johannesburg, South Africa

Photo: Yuichi Komano. Credit: Luca Bruno / Associated Press.