Preparation for Euro 2012 starts now, says Berra

Japan 2 Scotland 0
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The Independent Football

Defender Christophe Berra believes Scotland must put their World Cup disappointment behind them and begin building for the future.

The Scots fell short of qualifying for the finals in South Africa next year following their defeat last month at the hands of the Netherlands and a makeshift team followed that up on Saturday evening with a friendly defeat against Japan in Yokohama.

But Berra is looking forward. "We want to qualify for every tournament we play in and it was a huge disappointment not to qualify for South Africa," he said . "But we have to put that behind us now and look forward to the qualifiers for the European championships. So now we will go back to our club sides and then get ready for the friendly game against Wales, which we're all looking forward to."

Berra's impressive performance at the heart of the defence alongside captain Stephen McManus against the Japanese was blighted by an own goal in the 84th minute which gave the home side the lead. Takeshi Okada's side won 2-0 after Keisuke Honda added a second in the final minute.

There was little Berra could have done about the goal he conceded, such was the quality of the low cross sent into the penalty area by substitute Yuichi Komano, and the Wolves defender will now return to action in the Premier League looking to help his side climb the league table. "Things have been going well for me at Wolves," said Berra, who joined the club in February while they were still in the Championship. "I've been in good form but we have been a bit unlucky lately."

Japan (4-4-2): Kawashima; Iwamasa, Uchida (Okubo, 66), Abe, Hashimoto; Inamoto (Komano, 81), Konno, Kengo Nakamura, Ishikawa (Tokunaga, 65); Honda, Maeda (Morimoto, 65).

Scotland (4-4-2): Gordon (Sunderland); Berra (Wolves), Caldwell (Celtic), McManus (Celtic), Whittaker (Rangers); L Wallace (Hearts), Adam (Blackpool), Dorrans (West Brom), R Wallace (Preston); Conway (Dundee United), Miller (Rangers). Substitutes used: S Fletcher (Burnley) for Wallace, h-t; S Hughes (Motherwell) for Adam, 67; Cowie (Watford) for Miller, h-t; Riordan (Hibernian) for Conway, 74.

Referee: S W Kim (South Korea).