Under-23 Japan Team Crashes out of Toulon Tournament

Football Japan

(Highlights from Japan’s final game in Group A, a 3-2 loss to Egypt leading to their exit from the Toulon Tournament)

The Japan Under-23 national team’s preparations for London 2012 were underminded on Sunday as a 3-2 defeat against Egypt in the Toulon Tournament ended their participation at the group stage. Japan, who finished bottom of Group A with just three points and having conceded seven goals, had given themselves hope of further progress with a 3-2 success against the Netherlands after their abject display in the opening match with Turkey, but those hopes were dashed both by a pair of baffling decisions from referee Mounir Mabrouk and some hapless defending, a failing which has plagued the side throughout this competition.

While the surprise early exit may have prevented manager Takashi Sekizuka from deploying a few players on the periphery of selection in order to make their case for inclusion…

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