‘BROTHER! SO PROUD OF YOU,’ JURANOVIC’S HEARTFELT MESSAGE TO MAEDA

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JOSIP JURANOVIC sympathised with Celtic team-mate Daizen Maeda as Japan slumped out of the World Cup last night.

The Croatia right-back saw his team claim a quarter-final place against Brazil on Friday afternoon following their penalty-kick shoot-out triumph over the Blue Samurai.

The last-16 confrontation ended in a 1-1 stalemate after Maeda had rifled the Japanese ahead just before the interval when he pounced in the penalty box to finish in style.

However, Ivan Perisic nullified the advantage with a superb header shortly after the turnaround.

EMOTIONAL…Josip Juranovic’s message to Daizen Maeda.

Maeda was withdrawn in the 64th minute to be replaced by Tukama Asano – the substitution that provided the shock winner against Germany in the Group E clash – but there was no change in the scoreline as it went to the spot-kick shoot-out.

Agonisingly for Meada, Japan fluffed three attempts with Croatia winning 3-1 to claim a place in the last eight against the South Americans who showboated their way to a 4-1 victory over South Korea later in the evening.

Juranovic and his delighted colleague celebrated wildly at the end, but he still found time to seek out his Hoops pal for an embrace.

Later, he took to Instagram to say: ‘Brother! Proud of you.’

PICK IT OUT…Daizen Maeda fires Japan into the lead with Josip Juranovic (right) helpless.

YIPPEE…delighted Josip Juranovic and his Croatia team-mates celebrate their dramatic World Cup penalty-kick shoot-out triumph.

It was a lovely touch from the defender to a team-mate who had given his all for his country and was understandably emotional at the end.

Now Maeda will get a break before heading back to Scotland to resume club duties with the champions.

The pacy attacker isn’t likely to be involved in the match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie a week on Saturday when the Premiership restarts, but he could be in place for the visit of Livingston the following Wednesday.

SPOT-KICK WOE FOR MAEDA AND CO

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