Japan Keeper Sums Up 6-2 Loss With 4 Awful Seconds

The Netherlands crushed Japan 6-2 in the Algarve Cup, but one of the goals was an absolute gift.

The Algarve Cup began Wednesday with six matches. The highlight was supposed to be Japan, a finalist in the last two World Cups, against the Netherlands, the reigning European champion. However, the match was hardly competitive, with the Leeuwinnen thoroughly dominating the match. The only notable aspect of the 6-2 rout was four miserable seconds from Japan goalkeeper Sakiko Ikeda. 

Japan won the 2011 World Cup and reached the final in 2015. But the Japanese women were far from top form in the Algarve Cup opener on Wednesday in Portugal. (The Algarve Cup is kind of the NIT to the SheBelieves Cup going on in America starting this week.)

The 2017 Best FIFA Women’s Player Lieke Martens scored two goals, including one inside of four minutes to start the rout for the Netherlands. 

It got worse for Japan in the 35th minute. With her team already down 3-0, Ikeda tried to play the ball out of the back. However, the 25-year-old keeper misplayed her pass directly to the Netherlands’ Shanice van de Sanden, who controlled the ball and sent in a low shot back toward Ikeda. 

The shot was not actually that great, rolling slowly toward the Japanese net minder. However, Ikeda, perhaps flabbergasted by allowing three goals already and having just committed an awful mistake, followed it up with another awful mistake, merely deflecting the ball up into the air before it rolled into the back of her net. 

Japan managed to score twice to prevent a complete capitulation, but the match was not dissimilar to how the 2015 World Cup final played out against the United States, when the USWNT scored at will on the way to a 5-2 victory. 

The victory extended a 13-match unbeaten streak for the Netherlands, including 12 victories. The last loss for the Leeuwinnen was a 1-0 setback to Japan in June. Wednesday will go down as a bit of revenge for that match, but the Netherlands will be eyeing bigger things: an Algarve Cup championship and perhaps even a 2019 World Cup title to go with their 2017 European championship. 

Algarve Cup

The Netherlands opened the Algarve Cup in dominant fashion against Japan. Photo: @UEFAWomensEURO | Twitter

Scores from the Algarve Cup on Wednesday

  • The Netherlands 6-2 Japan
  • Portugal 2-1 China
  • South Korea 3-1 Russia
  • Denmark 0-0 Iceland
  • Australia 4-3 Norway
  • Sweden 3-1 Canada

Next matches in the Algarve Cup on Friday

  • China vs. Norway
  • Portugal vs. Australia
  • Japan vs. Iceland
  • Denmark vs. the Netherlands
  • Russia vs. Canada
  • Sweden vs. South Korea

Videos you might like