Japan are on track to claim a first East Asian Cup after beating Australia 3-2 to register the first win of any team at the 2013 tournament.
Goals in both halves from Manabu Saito and Yuya Osako respectively saw Japan leading comfortably with the clock ticking down at Hwaseong Sports Complex.
Australia, relatively toothless up to that point, suddenly drew level, scoring two goals in the space of three minutes from Mitchell Duke and Tomi Juric.
However, Osako promptly restored Japan's lead less than 60 seconds after Australia had equalised, sealing the victory and leaving Holger Osieck's men bottom of the standings with one point from two matches played.
Japan - aiming for a maiden triumph in the tournament - are now top on four points, while China and hosts South Korea, both on two points, sit second and third as a consequence of the home team's inferior goal difference.
Osieck stuck with the same starting XI who had battled to a fortunate 0-0 draw against the Taeguk Warriors in their opening game, and Australia began brightly, pressing their opponents high up the field.
But Alberto Zaccheroni's men soon asserted their technical superiority, and they opened the scoring in the 26th minute through Saito. He ran across the Australian 18-yard box, evaded a challenge and dispatched a shot into the far corner of the net from an acute angle.
They should have doubled their lead with seven minutes to go in the first half, when Yohei Toyoda headed straight at Eugene Galekovic from a free header six yards out.
Australia, meanwhile, were restricted to half-chances, Matt McKay going closest with a half-volley from outside the area just before the break.
A slow starting second half came to life in the 55th minute, thanks to a wonderful piece of skill from Osako.
The Kashima Antlers forward collected his own back-heel before running onto the ball and shooting calmly beyond Galekovic.
Australia pulled one back against the run of play with 14 minutes to go, when substitute Nichols looped a ball over the Japan defence, allowing Duke to run and finish low beyond Shuichi Gonda, claiming his first international goal in his second appearance.
Next it was the turn of another newcomer, Juric, to get in on the act, smashing home what was also his first international strike in his second appearance from outside the area to level the scores on 78 minutes.
But just when it appeared Australia had pulled off a remarkable escape act, Osako promptly found himself with plenty of space outside the opposition penalty area, dispatching a well-placed shot beyond a helpless Galekovic to seal the result in Japan's favour.
Osieck must now pick up his players and prepare them for their final match of the tournament against China at Jamsil Olympic Stadium on Sunday, with South Korea taking on Japan at the same venue later the same day.
|Y. Osako||55' 56' 79'|
|Coach: A. Zaccheroni|
for T. Ogihara 61'
for M. Saito 73'
for K. Chiba 81'
|A-League: Central Coast 1 Wellington 0|
|Spain end top of FIFA rankings for sixth year running|
|Allardyce disappointed to draw Manchester City|
|Pascoe hails ´unbelievable´ Suarez|
|Vorm knee surgery brought forward|
|Blanc hails Cavani brace|
|Michu wants Aspas to join Swansea City|
|Hoeness plays down Bayern treble suggestions|
|Dzeko confident he can fill Aguero void|
|Moyes: No loan offers for Zaha|
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|
|Tottenham job appeals to Sherwood|
|Sherwood gutted after defeat|
|Hughes: United worthy winners|
|Moyes pleased to see United weather storm|
|Allardyce hails West Ham fight|
|Coppa Italia: Juventus 3 Avellino 0|
|Manchester clubs kept apart in League Cup semi draw|
|League Cup: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2|
|League Cup: Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1|
|Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan abandoned due to heavy rain|
|United face anxious Rooney wait over injury|
|Messi making good progress|
|Ramos ban overturned|
|Osvaldo charged by FA|
|In-demand Ince offered new Blackpool deal|
|Molde confirm Solskjaer approaches|
|Kramer keen to continue home record|
|Rodgers: Henderson has potential to get even better|
|Ruiz on Anderlecht´s radar|
|Swansea, Hull fined by FA over player behaviour|
|Leeds keen on re-signing Gradel|
|Leverkusen announce Ryu deal|
|Ribery named Bundesliga Player of the Year|
|Moyes: No Zaha interest|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid in European Commission investigation|
|Basel: No Tottenham approach for Yakin|
|Chelsea set for Guarin bid, agent claims|
|Lewandowski has Dortmund goal concerns|
|Pogba, Pirlo will not sign before Christmas, says Marotta|
|Guardiola convinced to join Bayern after ´meat´ and greet|
|Martinez: Everton seen as a ´perfect´ loan destination|
|Anderlecht ´perfect´ for Defour, says Van Holsbeeck|
|Watford appoint Sannino|
|Sakho feels ´lucky´ to play with Suarez|
|Lippi: Too many teams competing in Club World Cup|
|Moyes ´told Welbeck to learn from Rooney´|
|I would kill myself over match-fixing, says Gattuso|
|Hughes dismisses calls for Januzaj protection|
|Aguero ´could miss up to two months´|
|Guardiola lauds Ballon d´Or nominee Ribery|
|Liverpool open Suarez contract talks|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Barcelona, Levante cruise through|
|A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart|
|Pearson upbeat despite Leicester defeat|
|Poyet urges Sunderland to build on Chelsea win|
|Mourinho rues missed chances|
|Pellegrini proud of professional Manchester City|
|Bayern on another level, says Beckenbauer|
|League Cup: Sunderland 2 Chelsea 1 (aet)|
|League Cup: Leicester City 1 Manchester City 3|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Guangzhou Evergrande 0 Bayern Munich 3|
|Zenit and Olympiacos punished with partial stadium closures|
|Sherwood wants positive reaction|
|Ancelotti expected La Liga title fight|
|Moffat charged over betting allegations|
|Wilson appointed at Barnsley|
|Wilshere charged by FA|
|Gattuso determined to clear his name|
|Moyes slams sacking culture|
|Mackay refuses to resign despite owner criticism|
|Redknapp reluctant to take Taarabt back|
|Amat pleased with development|
|Hughes optimistic of League Cup progression|
|Perez: No bids for Di Maria|
|FIFPro demand transfer system overhaul|
|Edwards sacked by Perth Glory|
|Allardyce not fearing the sack|
|Howson commits to Norwich|
|Tevez resigned to Argentina snub|
|SFA uphold Butcher´s one-match ban|
|Zapata rules out United switch|
|European Ombudsman calls for action on Spanish tax complaint|
|Albrighton eyes new Villa deal|
|Bale to miss Copa del Rey clash with ´small injury´|
|Pardew will bide his time in January|
|Kreuzer confident of Hamburg improvement|
|Van der Sar: Moyes can turn United around|
|Maradona backs Ronaldo for Ballon d´Or|
|Tottenham warned off Klinsmann|
|Costa Rica Primera Division: Alajuelense 0 Herediano 0|
|Lyon wary of Chornomorets Odesa|
|Guardiola talks up Lippi, Evergrande|
|Chile Primera Division Wrap: Chile, Deportes Iquique reach final|
|Garcia laments defensive mistakes|
|La Liga: Real Valladolid 3 Celta Vigo 0|