Soccer: Italy rallies to beat Japan 4-3 at Confed Cup
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.

Dec 17
A Dallas-bound American Airlines jet coming from South Korea made an emergency landing in Japan early Wednesday after encountering turbulence. At least 12 people on board the plane were injured. (NHK)
Dec 17
McDonald's in Japan said Tuesday it is having to ration french fries, despite having airlifted in more than 1,000 tons of potatoes, as eateries grapple with a crippling chip shortage. (Japan Today)
Dec 16
Hawkish former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, the supreme adviser to Jisedai no To (Party for Future Generations), on Tuesday officially put an end to his nearly 50-year political career after losing his Diet seat in Sunday's Lower House election. (Japan Times)
Dec 16
The Meteorological Agency forecast heavy snow and strong winds nationwide from Tuesday to Wednesday and warned of avalanches, stormy conditions and high waves, as well as disruptions to transport systems. (Japan Times)
Dec 16
Japan on Tuesday ordered the slaughter of some 4,000 chickens after officials confirmed bird flu at a poultry farm in the southwest of the country. (Japan Today)
Dec 16
A couple in their 80s were stabbed by an intruder in their home in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, on Tuesday morning. (Japan Today)
Dec 16
Nineteen employees of Tokyo Metro Co are facing disciplinary action after they colluded to falsify mandatory alcohol tests. (Japan Today)
Dec 14
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Dec 14
From relative obscurity only two years ago, to doing various concerts around the world in 2014, the presence of BABYMETAL has been sudden, if not shocking. (Japan Today)
Dec 14
Police in Higashiyamato, Tokyo, on Saturday arrested a 72-year-old woman for killing her 54-year-old bedridden son. (Japan Today)
Dec 14
When "Rachel Halle" traveled to Japan for an exchange year, she expected a lot of things from her visit; Japan is a culturally rich, diverse nation with a great deal to offer to exchange students seeking to learn about Japanese history and culture. (care2.com)
Dec 14
This village deep in the rugged mountains of southern Japan once was home to hundreds of families. Now, only 35 people remain, outnumbered three-to-one by scarecrows that Tsukimi Ayano crafted to help fill the days and replace neighbours who died or moved away. (leaderpost.com)
Dec 14
To spare staff and diners from the "severe emotional trauma" of being surrounded by lovey dovey couples flaunting their love in the faces of lonely singletons, a restaurant in Japan has banned all couples on Christmas Eve - "with no exceptions!" (therakyatpost.com)
Dec 13
At an annual year-end event in Kyoto, traditional female entertainers dressed in colorful kimono visited a master of traditional Japanese dance on Saturday. (NHK)
Dec 13
Japan's Empress Michiko has attended the funeral of Belgium's Queen Fabiola at the Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral in Brussels. (NHK)