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'
|Republic of Ireland 1-1 Netherlands: Boys in Green pegged back after Long goal|
|Hazard hints at Chelsea stay|
|Reinartz retires at 27 due to injuries|
|Bellerin not interested in rumours of Barcelona move|
|Zidane happy to fulfil Ancelotti´s prophecy|
|Ronaldo is 100 per cent fit for Champions League final - Zidane|
|Rummenigge: Bayern ready to welcome Hoeness back|
|Bordeaux name Gourvennec as new coach|
|Portugal v Norway: Quaresma challenges hosts to prove Euro 2016 ambition|
|Espanyol announce Galca exit|
|Spain v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Uncapped duo aim to impress|
|Middlesbrough confirm Fischer deal|
|Pearson targeting promotion after Derby appointment|
|England 2-1 Australia: Rashford and Rooney see off Socceroos|
|FIFA hits Croatia with stadium ban as part of widespread homophobia sanctions|
|Northern Ireland 3-0 Belarus: O'Neill's men cruise to victory|
|Italy v Scotland: Chiellini spots chance to prepare for Ireland challenge|
|Sane brushes off talk of Schalke exit|
|Yorke: Giggs should be Mourinho successor|
|Defence can lead Italy to Euro success - Chiellini|
|Scolari swoons over ´spectacular´ Ronaldo|
|Neuer to miss Germany friendly|
|Gabi looking forward, not back|
|Gerhardt agrees Wolfsburg switch|
|Champions League final is the game of my life - Torres|
|Simeone: Casemiro the key for Real|
|Mourinho urges United to ´forget the past three years´|
|Malaga appoint Ramos|
|Berlusconi ready to relinquish power at AC Milan|
|Busquets agrees new five-year Barcelona contract|
|Euro 2016 not under threat from strike action - Braillard|
|Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid: San Siro the stage for Champions League final re-run|
|Vela staying with Sociedad - agent|
|A poke in the eye & ´the f****** master´: Five of the best Mourinho v Guardiola battles|
|Red Devils enter Faustian pact as Manchester United hire Mourinho|
|Star striker top of Mourinho´s United shopping list|
|An attacking mastermind even more fearsome than Ferguson - Jose Mourinho in numbers|
|Manchester United appoint Mourinho as manager|
|Italy not among Euro 2016 favourites - Ancelotti|
|Win or lose in Milan, it is time for Perez to back Zidane|
|Ronaldo wants Morata back at Madrid|
|England v Australia preview: All eyes on Rashford debut|
|Weigl, Kimmich grateful to Tuchel and Guardiola|
|Benitez: I´m ready for Championship challenge|
|Colombia v Haiti: Bacca ready for responsibility|
|Karembeu hails Zidane ahead of Champions League final|
|Panama v Brazil: Lucas Lima ready to prove himself|
|Kaka replaces Douglas Costa in Brazil´s Copa America squad|
|Mascherano opens up on Juventus rumours|
|Allen unclear over Liverpool future|
|Hodgson praises scrapped cup replays|
|Deschamps to take legal action against Cantona|
|Kuyt signs new Feyenoord deal|
|Messi set for court appearance on June 2|
|Juninho tips Atletico for Champions League glory|
|Galatasaray 1 Fenerbahce 0: Podolski header settles Turkish Cup final|
|Skrtel set for Liverpool exit|
|Rashford set for England debut|
|Xavi: It is Atletico Madrid´s time to win the Champions League|
|Manchester United will be hard to beat with Mourinho - Courtois|
|Signing ´animal´ Ibrahimovic a no-brainer for Man Utd, says Henry|
|FA Cup quarter-final replays scrapped|
|Cantona suggests Deschamps dropped Ben Arfa and Benzema over race|
|Depay ´p***** off´ at lack of football|
|Ferdinand welcomes Mourinho to Manchester United|
|Delph placed on England standby list|
|Wales talisman Bale shrugs off Euro pressure|
|Ronaldo open to working under Mourinho again|
|Ronaldo values Champions League over Barcelona´s double|
|Switzerland v Belgium: Shaqiri eyes Euro glory|
|Willian: Manchester United stronger with Mourinho|
|Liverpool and Dortmund in for Guerreiro|
|Real Madrid will attack Atletico again, says Ancelotti|
|Ramirez set for Southampton exit|
|Bale calls for cool Madrid heads|
|´Mourinho can take United back to the top´ - Ibrahimovic hints at Old Trafford switch|
|Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday: Promotion windfall the prize on offer|
|Lahm eyes Champions League glory with Ancelotti|
|Juventus chief hints at Dani Alves deal|
|Gotze warned he will not be first choice under Ancelotti|
|Mexico v Paraguay Preview: Marquez ready to make the most of 'great opportunity'|
|Courtois: If nothing strange happens, I will continue at Chelsea|
|Vermaelen ´disappointed´ by Barca struggles|
|Higuain and Lamela dream of lifting the Copa America|
|Reborn Torres returns to Milan to complete Atletico´s greatest tale|
|Lukaku offers Everton ultimatum: I want to win trophies!|
|United States v Bolivia: Copa America hosts to fine-tune preparations|
|Zidane has united Real Madrid again - Ramos|
|Mexico v Paraguay: Marquez ready to make the most of ´great opportunity´|
|Republic of Ireland v Netherlands Preview: O'Neill wants confident display|
|Coyle leaves Houston Dynamo|
|McLaren could end Mercedes dominance - Alonso|
|Orlando City 2 Philadelphia Union 2: Tribbett rescues point in controversial contest|
|United States 1 Ecuador 0: Last-gasp Nagbe goal lifts hosts in Copa America warm-up|
|Djourou compares Xhaka to Pirlo|
|Gallas ´very proud´ of former boss Ranieri´s title glory|
|Copa America to use goal-line technology|
|Smith likens Postecoglou to Klopp|
|Hart backs Sterling to shine at Euro 2016|
|Giovinco happy in MLS despite Euro 2016 snub|
|Balotelli set for Liverpool return, confirms Berlusconi|
|Atletico must win Champions League - Cerezo|
|Arbeloa: Mourinho didn´t get enough recognition at Madrid|
|Mijatovic: Bale can save Madrid´s season in Champions League final|