Saturday, June 7, 2014 10:05 am
Japan came from two-goals down to secure a last gasp 4-3 win over Zambia while Portugal struggled to beat Mexico and Greece ended a goalless streak in their World Cup warm-up match against Bolivia.
The Katongo brothers combined to give Zambia an early lead against Alberto Zaccheroni’s Japan, with Felix flicking a cross towards Zambia captain Chris for the opening goal.
Sinkala doubled Zambia’s lead midway through the first half with a volley off a cornerkick as the 2012 Cup of Africa Nations winners threatened to run away with the tie.
AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda managed to pull one back for the Asian champions with a penalty just before half-time, going on to put Japan in the lead for the first time in the match, a minute after Shinji Kagawa’s equaliser in the 73rd minute.
Lubambo Musonda struck a thunderous drive to level for Zambia with a minute left in the match but Japan had the last say deep in stoppage time thanks to Yoshito Okubo’s goal.
Japan will face Cote D’Ivoire, Colombia and Greece in Group C of the World Cup, and two of the Blue Samurai’s opponents were also in action with both winninh their matches.
Greece ended a run of three matches without a goal in a 2-1 win over Bolivia while James Rodriguez starred in Colombia’s 3-0 win over Jordan.
Elsewhere, a 93rd minute header from Bruno Alves secured a lone goal win for Portugal over Mexico in a match Cristiano Ronaldo was left out for Portugal, Nikica Jelavic’s 52nd minute goal was enough for Croatia to beat Australia while 10-man Costa Rica held Republic of Ireland to a 1-1 draw.