Japan escaped with a 4-3 victory over Zambia on Friday in their final friendly before the FIFA World Cup.
Yoshito Okubo struck a brilliant late winner for Japan in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to salvage the win for his side, soon after Lubambo Musonda had equalised with an incredible strike.
Japan had looked on track to win 3-2 after Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda both scored in the space of two second-half minutes at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where Zambia led 2-0 in the opening half-hour.
But in the 89th minute, Musonda burst forward before unleashing a thunderous strike over Shusaku Nishikawa and, two minutes later, Okubo showed fine control to bring down a high pass and then power his shot into the net.
The win was Japan's fifth in a row but coach Alberto Zaccheroni will no doubt be concerned by his team's poor start and how they struggled with Zambia's physicality, plus their continued reliance on attacking midfield pair Honda and Kagawa for goals.
Zaccheroni made five changes to his starting line-up from Monday's 3-1 win over Costa Rica with Eiji Kawashima, Masato Morishige, Toshihiro Aoyama, Okubo and Yuya Osako dropping to the bench.
Nishikawa was given the gloves, Yuto Nagatomo started at left-back, Yasuhito Endo was installed in midfield and Shinji Okazaki overcame a cold to take up position on the right wing.
Yoichiro Kakitani started as the lead striker, which has been a problematic position for Zaccheroni, after scoring as a substitute against Costa Rica.
Zambia took a few minutes to settle but Japan were unable to make the most of their early possession and were made to pay in the 10th minute.
A cross from the right was flicked on by the outstretched boot of Felix Katongo and his brother Christopher got in between Nishikawa and Atsuto Uchida to head the ball into the net - the captain's first goal for Zambia in 364 days.
In the 18th minute, a clash of heads between Okazaki and Zambia goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata and play was stopped for five minutes as both players received treatment.
Zambia's early goal and the clash between Okazaki and Nsabata seemed to affect Japan, who struggled to string passes together and looked generally rusty, which led to the Africans doubling their lead just before the half-hour mark.
After Felix Katongo's powerful shot was deflected for a corner, Chisamba Lungu drove his set-piece to the top of the box, where Sinkala blasted the ball across his body and into the net.
But Japan dragged themselves back into the contest in the 40th minute after Shinji Kagawa's cross struck Emmanuel Mbola's hand and Honda converted the spot-kick.
At half-time, and with Kakitani having struggled to provide much threat up front, Zaccheroni replaced the Cerezo Osaka man with Okubo but Zambia continued to have the better goalscoring opportunities in the second half.
Japan struggled with Zambia's pressing and the Africans' power in the forward third.
In the 54th minute, Christopher Katongo should have claimed his second goal when he wasted a free header from his brother's cross, while Zambia's captain also fired a long-range shot just wide two minutes later.
The wastefulness of Patrice Beaumelle's men came back to the haunt them in the final 20 minutes.
In the 74th minute, Kagawa cut in from the left wing and his attempted cross evaded Okubo on the edge of the six-yard box and fizzed into the net.
Straight from the restart, Japan regained possession and attacked, with Morishige spinning in the area before crossing for Honda to stab the ball into the net to make it 3-2.
All that was left was a dramatic finale with the two best goals of the game thanks to Musonda and Okubo, with the latter scoring his first goal for Japan since 2008.
|4||K. Honda||40' 75'|
|Coach: A. Zaccheroni|
for Y. Kakitani 46'
for Y. Konno 60'
for S. Okazaki 60'
for A. Uchida 67'
for S. Kagawa 77'
for Y. Endō 90+1'
|Furious Mancini slams Inter´s ´worst ever´ first half against Lazio|
|Serie A Review: Champions League places locked, Milan play out six-goal thriller|
|La Liga Review: Villarreal secure Champions League return|
|Lazio 2 Inter 0: Champions League race comes to a Klose|
|Koeman delivers Pelle warning|
|Morata wants to stay at Juventus, claims Marotta|
|Pellegrini disappointed with City defending in defeat|
|Iheanacho: City will bounce back from Saints defeat|
|´On fire´ Mane salutes Southampton show|
|Angers 0 Marseille 1: Batshuayi strike secures Ligue 1 status|
|Southampton 4 Manchester City 2: Mane hat-trick blows top-four race open|
|Van Gaal calls for video referees after Drinkwater decision|
|Schmeichel: I don´t care how we win it|
|Montella open to Italy role|
|Brocchi pleased with Milan fightback|
|Van Gaal defends ´human´ Fellaini over Huth elbow clash|
|Ronaldo wants Zidane to stay at Madrid|
|Ranieri to miss decisive Tottenham clash|
|Rooney disappointed after Leicester draw dents top-four hopes|
|Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid: Hosts seek to vent Bundesliga frustration|
|Leicester captain Morgan hails battling Old Trafford point|
|AC Milan 3-3 Frosinone: Menez penalty denies strugglers|
|Klopp not concerned by Sturridge behaviour|
|Manchester United 1 Leicester City 1: Captain Morgan on target as Foxes edge closer to glory|
|Allofs: We do not have the same weapons as Bayern|
|Guidolin coy on Swansea future|
|Allegri happy with win after title celebrations|
|Umtiti flattered by Tottenham interest|
|Klopp frustrated by lacklustre Liverpool|
|Hannover mourn Feierabend|
|Godin, Carrasco fit for Bayern clash|
|Swansea City 3 Liverpool 1: Ayew double punishes wasteful visitors|
|Dybala claims Messi, Ronaldo would score less in Italy|
|Juventus 2 Carpi 0: Hernanes, Zaza on target as champions march on|
|Ronaldo back in training for Madrid|
|Barcelona confirm Bravo calf injury|
|Aulas brands Ligue 1 ´championship of Qatar´|
|Leicester City at Manchester United: Aiming for Hollywood ending to title push|
|I can start for England at Euro 2016 - Sturridge|
|Dybala never doubted Juventus|
|Aguero celebrates brother´s Independiente debut|
|Sturridge rounds on critics, plays down Klopp rift|
|Adelaide United 3 Western Sydney Wanderers 1: Reds seal maiden A-League title|
|Eriksson: Simeone is an example to follow|
|´Where am I?´ - Lovren reveals travel struggles|
|´If I have to leave Bayern, then I will´ - Benatia|
|Walker ´over the moon´ after Pochettino agrees new deal|
|MLS Review: Villa leads City, Impact held|
|We´d probably be relegated without Defoe – Allardyce|
|Koeman: Leicester will do well in Champions League|
|Ronaldo needs rest or could miss Euros - doctor|
|United shaped me as a player - Schlupp|
|Sanchez, Vidal lead Chile´s Copa squad|
|Arsenal´s patience paid off - Cech|
|I will know Madrid´s plans - Pellegrini|
|Granada 3 Las Palmas 2: Superb comeback boosts hosts´ survival hopes|
|Martinez pleased with impact of new faces|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon, Monaco continue fight for second|
|Serie A Review: Fiorentina frustrated, Torino hit five|
|Barca keeper Bravo set for tests on calf strain|
|Barca will not rely on rivals slipping up - Luis Enrique|
|Simeone: I am not a fortune teller|
|Neil defiant in defeat|
|Real Betis 0 Barcelona 2: Rakitic and Suarez edge champions back ahead in title race|
|´Protests more like disappointed love´ - Wenger sorry he cannot keep Arsenal fans happy|
|Bundesliga Review: Monchengladbach and Dortmund delay Bayern´s title party|
|Arsenal should be doing better, concedes match-winner Welbeck|
|Black wants Villa display to build bridges|
|Tuchel: Hummels abuse went too far|
|Flores laments mixed Hornets performance|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic made to wait by Aberdeen|
|Ribery a doubt for Bayern´s crunch Atletico clash|
|Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0: Substitute Welbeck boosts under-fire Wenger|
|Allardyce rues Sunderland nerves after Stoke draw|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Rayo Vallecano 0: Griezmann maintains title momentum|
|Benitez salutes Newcastle ´heroes´ Townsend and Darlow|
|Hughes disappointed by Sunderland penalty call|
|Football League Review: Wigan confirm promotion to Championship|
|Bilic confident of Europe after West Brom win|
|Howe defends players´ efforts after form slump|
|Bale can match Ronaldo´s run - Zidane|
|Watford poor in Villa win, concedes Deeney|
|Hummels slams ´nonsense´ claims over Bayern request|
|Zidane hopeful on Ronaldo, Benzema as Madrid give backing to medics|
|Pardew rues Cabaye penalty miss in defeat to Newcastle|
|West Brom did not get the breaks - Pulis|
|Fan protests of no concern to Martinez|
|Ramos urges Real Madrid to ´fight to the end´|
|Defoe: You haven´t got a choice, I had to score|
|Watford 3 Aston Villa 2: Late Deeney double sinks Villa|
|Stoke City 1 Sunderland 1: Defoe snatches point but Allardyce´s men slip into bottom three|
|Real Sociedad 0 Real Madrid 1: Late Bale winner keeps title challenge alive|
|West Brom 0 West Ham 3: Noble brace boosts European hopes|
|Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0: Townsend, Darlow heroics boost Benitez|
|Everton 2 AFC Bournemouth 1: Baines strike eases pressure on Martinez|
|Leno to stay at Leverkusen after buyout clause expires|
|Bayern Munich 1 Borussia Monchengladbach 1: Hahn puts title celebrations on hold|
|Borussia Dortmund 5 Wolfsburg 1: Fans round on Hummels but title hopes remain|
|Watzke won´t give up on keeping Hummels|
|Pepe tips Zidane to become top coach|
|Allegri and Mancini laud Ranieri´s Leicester heroics|
|Allegri still hopes to keep Morata at Juventus|
|Mancini praises ´top-quality´ Banega|
|´Even Guardiola needed time´ - Brocchi has no regrets over taking AC Milan role|
|Willian desperate for next season to arrive|
|Mancini: Inter season not a disaster|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Pochettino hopes derby motivation keeps title chase alive|
|Crotone not Italy´s Leicester, says director Ursino|
|Klopp: Flanagan still faces fitness battle|
|Manchester United v Leicester City: Ranieri aiming for Hollywood ending to title push|
|Hummels to Bayern is the logical deal - Hitzfeld|
|Shaw pushing for United comeback this season|
|Sportiello ´proud´ to be linked with Napoli|
|Arsenal must change to end title drought - Cazorla|
|Tete can´t confirm Bayern interest|
|Montero, Valencia set for Copa America Centenario|
|Vardy, Mahrez more important than Leicester´s defence - Martinez|
|Pellegrini blasts ´unbelievable´ Premier League fixtures|
|Standard Liege terminate Valdes´ loan deal|
|Hiddink: Leicester will not disappear|
|Mata: Leicester can wait a week|
|Pizarro, Farfan not included in Peru´s 40-man Copa squad|
|Wenger: My loyalty helped build Emirates|
|Pochettino eyes Ferguson legacy at Tottenham|
|Thompson to leave Melbourne Victory|
|New York Red Bulls 4 FC Dallas 0: Hosts make it two in a row|
|Blanc hails ´motivated and disciplined´ PSG|
|Van Gaal: Easier for Leicester to sign players than United|
|No shocks as Paraguay announce provisional Copa squad|
|Suarez headlines Uruguay´s Copa America squad|
|Sturridge reveals he is ´not Liverpool for life´ and hopes to match Suarez success|
|David Luiz, Silva and Marcelo absent from Brazil´s preliminary Copa America squad|
|Augsburg 0 Cologne 0: Weinzierl´s men edge closer to survival|