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Dutch team U20 beat Japan in opening game (

13 jun 2005 - Source:

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The Dutch team U20 had a bright start to their World Cup campaign. Foppe de Haan coached his side to a 2-1 win over Japan in the opening game in Kerkrade on Friday night. PSV player Ibrahim Afellay scored the opener on seven minutes.Dream startThe Dutch youngsters had a dream start. Afellay, the only PSV player in the Dutch team U20, was at the end of a superb move and calmly finished, after he had been set up by a clever Babel backheel pass. Man-of-the-match was undoubtedly Owusu-Abeyie, who stole the show. The winger proved to be nightmare for the Japanese defence and frequently outclassed his marker by some great movements. He started a fine solo run and eventually found Babel who doubled the advantage; 2-0.VermeerWhen the Dutch were 2-0 on top, they took their feet off the pedal, but Maduro and Vlaar still controlled proceedings. They did not panic when Hirayama pulled one goal back on 69 minutes, but owed their goalkeeper Vermeer for pulling off two fine saves. Robert Cullen wasted a great opportunity in the dying minute when he blasted the ball over the goal.Afellay: "Great move"On his goal: "It was a great move, started on the left flank. I had created some space and Quincy picked me out very well. It was a fine goal", felt Afellay. "We played at a high pace, which took the Japanese by surprise. It was a shame we didn’t add a third goal. We played less well in the second period, when we lost possession of the ball too soon.”Architect"We’ll be together for a few days now, so we can grow as a team. I put up a fine display, but there’s always room for improvement”, explained Afellay, who was the architect of the Dutch team U20, together with Hedwiges Maduro.