England Shield
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Under 20s coach Martin Hunter

U20s Miss Out

England 0, Japan 0. (Japan won 5-4 on penalties) Toulon International Tournament.

England missed out on Third Place in the Toulon International Tournament, when Martin Hunter's Under-20s were beaten on penalties by Japan after a goal-less draw.

The England youngsters maintained their incredible record of not conceding a goal in the tournament, but lacked the firepower to trouble the Japanese, particularly without Manchester United's Jimmy Davis and Stuart Parnaby, who had scored their goals earlier in the tournament.

The best efforts on goal in the first half came from a John Halls 25 yarder and a Matthew Hamshaw effort that was saved by the Japanese keeper.

England goalkeeper Rhys Evans needed to make two fine saves to keep England on level terms. Yuichi Komani sent in a 30-yard drive which drew a diving save from the Chelsea goalkeeper and Satoshi Nakayama's effort also needed to be dealt with.

In the second half, Leon Knight and Gary McSheffrey had chances, but penalties began to look inevitable.

Both sides scored with their first four kicks, with captain Peter Clarke, Johnnie Jackson, Matthew Hamshaw and Gary McSheffrey all successful for England. After Morasaki sent the fifth Japanese kick wide, Chelsea striker Leon Knight had the chance to win the match, but his kick was saved and Coventry midfielder Craig Pead then missed the next kick to hand Japan victory.

Coach Martin Hunter conceded his players were below par in what was their fifth match in 12 days.

"It was more mental fatigue than physical fatigue and our passing started off well but trailed off," he said. "I don't think Japan have played as well against us as in some of their other games, but I don't think we allowed them to do that.

"They had a couple of good strikes at goal which Rhys Evans saved well, but otherwise we had them under control. I am disappointed to lose on penalties obviously but we had several good chances and the most disappointing aspect of tonight and the fortnight has been that we didn't convert them."

In the Final which followed the England match, Brazil beat Italy 2-0 to win the title.

18 May 2002


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