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.
Land prices in Japan for this year fell 0.4 pct on average from the previous year, dropping for the seventh straight year but at a slower pace than the previous year's 0.7 pct, the government said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police last week confirmed that a body discovered buried in a cemetery in Kanagawa Prefecture is that of a 25-year-old woman who went missing two years ago. Police are now attempting to locate her son, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Japan's traditional kendama ball-and-cup toy has been reborn as a new sport and is attracting attention around the world. Professional players demonstrate their highly sophisticated techniques on Internet video sites, and a world championship event was held last year featuring the first monetary prizes to be awarded for kendama in Japan. (The Japan News)