Sam Field and Kyle Edwards both started for England Under-20s in their opening Maurice Revello Toulon Tournament game on Saturday.
The Young Lions, who are looking to win the competition for the fourth consecutive time, were defeated 2-1 by Japan’s Under-22 team - who are currently preparing to host next summer’s Olympic Games.
Paul Simpson’s side went ahead through Trevoh Chalobah nine minutes before half-time but were overcome by second-half strikes from Takuma Ominami and Yuchi Naganuma.
Field played the full game in central midfield whilst Edwards was replaced after 73 minutes.
Despite the early setback, England can still qualify from Group A with fixtures against Portugal (Tuesday) and Chile (Friday) to play this week.