TOULON, FRANCE – Japan’s already eliminated Under-23s finished the Toulon Tournament on a losing note Friday after going down 1-0 against England’s U-21s in their final Group B game.
Chelsea’s Lewis Baker put England in front from the penalty spot on 15 minutes after Hiromu Mitsumaru brought down John Swift inside the box.
Japan’s Rio Olympic team had a number of opportunities to score and went closest to equalizing when Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s Gakuto Notsuda saw his volley come back off the crossbar.
But England held on to make it four wins from four matches to win Group B and book a place in Sunday’s final, where the team will face host and Group A winner France.
Portugal beat Paraguay 3-0 to finish second in Group B and will face the Czech Republic in the third-place match.
Japan finished in fourth place in Group B after one win against three losses.
“We have to try and make up for the three defeats at this tournament by winning in Rio,” said Japan coach Makoto Teguramori.
“I think the players are really frustrated and tired but that feeling will make them stronger.”