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10/02/2011

Japan U-22s lose to Kuwait

The Japan Under-22 side fell 3-0 to the Kuwait senior team in a friendly on Wednesday in Kuwait.

Playing against a second-string Kuwaiti team as part of their preparations for upcoming Olympic qualifiers, Japan allowed the hosts to go ahead through Alazemi on a counterattack and finished the first half 1-0 down.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Kuwaitis widened the lead when Ashkanani found the net, also on a counter from the right.
In the 77th minute, Kuwait scored a third with a strike from Almejmed.
“We cannot afford to have a match like today in our [Olympic] qualifiers,” Japan Under-22 coach Takashi Sekizuka stated. “We need to toughen up in all aspects of our game. Nevertheless, it was a good lesson for us.”
“We couldn’t do what we did in the Asian Games,” said forward Kensuke Nagai. “The course of the game changed after we gave up a goal on a counter. They were strong on the ball, making it difficult to win.”
The game was arranged after Saudi Arabia cancelled a friendly with the Japanese youngsters.
The Japan Under-22s will next play their counterparts from Bahrain in Manama on February 12.