• Kyodo


The Japan women’s soccer team fell to the Netherlands 3-2 on Wednesday to finish in sixth place after the classification matches at the Algarve Cup.

Japan came from two goals down to level the match after 77 minutes through Kumi Yokoyama and an own goal from Sheila van den Bulk. But Rumi Utsugi put through her own net deep into injury time to hand the 10-woman Dutch the victory.

Spain beat Canada 1-0 in the final.

“The way we played was embarrassing,” said Japan coach Asako Takakura, whose side had a one-player advantage for the last 29 minutes after Mandy van den Berg was sent off for a second bookable offense.

Indeed, poor goalkeeping from Ayaka Yamashita allowed Anouk Dekker to pounce and open the scoring in the 13th-minute and Shanice van de Sanden then set up Lieke Martens to double the Netherlands’ advantage five minutes later.

Yokoyama pulled one back with a superb strike on 20 minutes for her fourth goal of the tournament and Japan equalized when van den Bulk’s miscued clearance from Yuka Momiki’s cross ended up in the back of the net.

But a freak goal decided the match in the Dutch’s favor in the 93rd minute, Utsugi putting the ball inside the near post in an attempt to dispossess Vivianne Miedema.

“The way we conceded that goal at the end completely summed us up,” Takakura said. “That we are a new team with young players is no excuse. There are still a lot of things we need to do in both attack and defense.”

Kaede Nakamura, who made her Japan debut at this tournament, could not hide her disappointment after her mistake led to what the Netherlands’ winner.

“This was my third match but it has turned out to be my worst performance,” she said.

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