Italy rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Japan 4-3 Wednesday, earning a spot in the Confederations Cup semifinals.
First-half substitute Sebastian Giovinco scored the winner in the 86th minute of an entertaining match at the Arena Pernambuco, pounding home a cross from Claudio Marchisio.
After a dismal start for the Azzurri that saw Japan score twice in the opening 33 minutes, Daniele De Rossi pulled one back with a header in the 41st. Japan defender Atsuto Uchida scored an own-goal in the 50th and Mario Balotelli converted a penalty kick in the 52nd.
Japan had taken the lead with a penalty kick by Keisuke Honda in the 21st. Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa doubled the lead for Japan in the 33rd after a defensive error.
Shinji Okazaki made it 3-3 in the 69th with a header.
The Azzurri moved even with Brazil at six points atop Group A. Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 earlier Sunday and also advanced courtesy of Italy's win.
In the final round of group matches, Italy will face host Brazil in Salvador on Saturday, and Japan meets Mexico in Belo Horizonte.
Seventy seated Buddhist monks intoned "nenbutsu" prayers and "wasan" hymns while swaying their bodies in unison during the annual memorial service at the famed Higashi-Honganji temple in Shimogyo Ward here on Nov. 28. (Asahi)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Friday re-arrested more than a dozen suspects, including one organized crime member, as a part of an ongoing health insurance fraud investigation that now includes comedians affiliated with a major entertainment agency, reports Sports Hochi (Nov. 28). (Tokyo Reporter)
No major gangster bloodbath has occurred in the three months since Japan's largest yakuza organization, Yamaguchi-gumi, split into two rival mobs, but to say the sides are living in harmony would be an exaggeration. (Asahi)
Government figures show a sharp and continuous fall-off in the number of farmers over the past five years that potentially threatens the landscape as its stewards leave the sector and are not replaced. (Japan Times)