A bad day for Saints’ 2014 FIFA World Cup contingent was rounded off in the early hours of Sunday morning, as Maya Yoshida’s Japan were beaten by the Côte d’Ivoire.
The Saints defender was named in the Samurai Blue’s starting XI for their first Group C fixture, at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife.
And they made a dream start, taking the lead through Keisuke Honda’s thumping effort on 16 minutes.
But the african side hit back after the hour mark, with Swansea’s Wilfried Bony levelling matters on 64 minutes before ex-Arsenal man Gervinho put them in front just two minutes later.
The result means that all five Saints players whose teams have played so far at this World Cup have suffered defeat.
Dejan Lovren’s Croatia were beaten by Brazil in the tournament opener on Thursday, while Gastón Ramírez was on the bench as Uruguay lost to Costa Rica and then Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw started on the sidelines as England were beaten by Italy, with only Lallana getting onto the field.
The baton now passes to Morgan Schneiderlin, with his France team set to face Honduras in Group E tonight. Kick-off at the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre is at 8pm BST.
Japan are back in action on Thursday 19th June at 11pm BST when they face Greece, who lost to Colombia earlier on Saturday.