Drogba was brought on with the Ivorians trailing 1-0 in the 62nd minute and the African nation promptly scored twice in the space of four minutes to turn the game on its head and ultimately win 2-1.
Though not directly involved in Wilfried Bony or Gervinho's goals, the 36-year-old's presence gave his team-mates and the Ivorian fans a lift.
And the striker is happy to have played his part.
"I was disappointed, but I have to show my respect to those that started," he is quoted as saying by L'Equipe.
"When I went in, I just wanted to help the team to win the match and I did not need this disappointment in order to be motivated.
"I don’t know how long I played but I knew it was important to give something extra to the team.
"Japan weren't very dangerous but we trailed and had to come from behind to win."
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