Holland under 20 have begun the World Cup U20 in Holland with a 2-1 win against Japan. Arsenal and former Ajax player Quincy Owusu Abeyie was on great form and Ajax striker Ryan Babel gave and assist and scored a goal.
After seven minutes, Owusu Abeyie made a great move and found his former neighbourhood friend Ryan Babel. The Ajax forward back-heeled it to Afellay who scored: 0-1. Ten minutes later Owusu Abeyie made a rush of about 60 metres, crossed to Babel who made Holland's second goal.
Holland were by far the better side in the first half. Next to Owusu Abeyie and Babel, Hedwiges Maduro played a great game as the team's playmaker.
Japan started putting the hosts under pressure after an hour and it resulted in a goal by Hirayama after 67 minutes. In added time, Japan had two good chances to equalise. Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer saved the last one and made sure his team started the World Cup with a win.
Kerkrade. World Cup, group A.
Holland - Japan 2-1 (2-0). 7. Afellay 1-0, 18. Babel 2-0, 68. Hiryama 2-1.
Holland: Vermeer; Tiendalli, Vlaar, Van der Struijk and Drost; Kruys (67. Agustien), Maduro and Afellay; Vincken, Babel (74. John) and Owusu Abeyie.
Japan: Nishikawa; Nakamura, Nagira, Masushima and Mizumoto; Hyodo, Kobayashi, Honda (64. Mizuno) and Ienega (78. Morimoto); Hirayama and Kokeguchi (41. Cullen).