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'
|Police to review corruption allegations after Telegraph sting|
|Brady hails Wenger as ´possibly the best ever´ Gunners boss|
|Yacob signs new West Brom deal|
|Guidolin prioritising Swansea improvement over his future|
|Sakho outburst has been dealt with – Klopp|
|Bilic sorry for Allardyce in ´very sad´ week for English football|
|Laporte saga nears conclusion as defender earns France call-up|
|Everton are exceeding expectations – Koeman|
|Wenger could be tempted by an international offer, says ex-assistant|
|No excuses for Liverpool this time, says Klopp|
|Rashford left out of England Under-21 squad|
|Boro must pick up where they left off - Karanka|
|Matuidi could still join Juventus, says Raiola|
|Pardew anticipates battle of the Belgians|
|Legia Warsaw to face Real Madrid behind closed doors|
|England job would be the pinnacle - Pardew|
|Wright sacked by Barnsley|
|Bilic defends West Ham team night out|
|Ramsey withdrawal was Arsenal´s call - Coleman|
|LMA demand ´immediate full disclosure´ of corruption evidence|
|´My answer would be a big fat no´ - Coleman rules out taking England job|
|Leeds dismiss Cellino sting as ´non-story´|
|Gabigol, Rashford and Sanches among Golden Boy nominees|
|Keane slams Arsenal: Half their players will have gloves on soon|
|´Special´ Man City draw a career highlight, says Gordon|
|Southgate admits England situation is ´not ideal´|
|England should have gone for O´Neill, says Shilton|
|PSG´s powers of recovery impress Cavani|
|Howe ´absolutely committed´ to Bournemouth amid England links|
|Man City proved character against Celtic, says Zabaleta|
|Walcott: Sanchez partnership bodes well for Arsenal´s season|
|MLS Review: DC, Impact on track for play-offs|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres, Dallas left waiting|
|Central Sanchez pleases Wenger|
|Barca felt Messi absence - Busquets|
|Martino knew Messi would come out of retirement|
|Shilton never convinced by Allardyce|
|Degenek replaced by Giannou for Socceroos|
|Griezmann will still take penalties - Simeone|
|Simeone proud of ´one of the best´ wins|
|Godin suffers sprained ankle ligament|
|West Ham receive positive news over injured duo|
|Robson: Four wins for Southgate and he´s an England contender|
|Sarri: Late goals leave bitter taste|
|Gunes rues Besiktas´ inability to see off Dynamo|
|Borussia Monchengladbach were exceptional against Barcelona, feels Schubert|
|PSG must be patient, says Emery|
|Celtic are lucky to have Dembele - Rodgers|
|I´m completely focused on Arsenal, insists Wenger amid England talk|
|Hasselbaink denies wrongdoing amid impropriety allegations|
|Ancelotti frustrated by slow, toothless Bayern|
|Barcelona deserved their win - Luis Enrique|
|I want Celtic atmosphere at City – Guardiola|
|Rebrov defends Yarmolenko after ´difficult´ match|
|Rostov draw is two points dropped for PSV, says De Jong|
|Torres eyeing ´magical´ year for Atletico|
|Celtic 3 Manchester City 3: Dembele at the double in six-goal thriller|
|Celtic 3 Manchester City 3: Dembele at the double in six-goal thriller|
|Rostov 2 PSV 2: Propper´s penalty miss costs visitors|
|Besiktas 1 Dynamo Kiev 1: Tsygankov stuns wasteful Turks|
|Napoli 4 Benfica 2: Mertens bags two as Napoli run riot|
|Arsenal 2 Basel 0: Walcott´s capital gains tax Swiss visitors|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 1 Barcelona 2: Pique grabs the winner|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0: Carrasco gives Ancelotti first taste of defeat|
|Ludogorets 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Cavani inspires comeback win|
|Premier League, FA and EFL to investigate transfer allegations|
|Vardy reveals matchday energy drink and port routine|
|Everton coping without Stones, says Jagielka|
|Sacked Jemez admits to ´great sadness´ at Granada exit after worst start in over 70 years|
|Wenger has so much to offer English football - Schmeichel|
|No truth to England rumours, says Klinsmann|
|Spalletti demands end to damaging Roma ´games´|
|De Boer: Brozovic was punished and forgiven|
|Allardyce paid price for lack of privacy - McClaren|
|Milik can match Lewandowski - Reina|
|LMA ´extremely concerned´ about manager bribe allegations|
|Iwobi: I nearly left Arsenal|
|Mata has found a ´natural habitat´ at United|
|Higuain slowly approaching top form|
|´Stupid´ Allardyce driven by money - Dyke|
|Wijnaldum vows to improve|
|Renato Sanches needs time at Bayern - Hitzfeld|
|Ibrahimovic nurturing United talent - Lingard|
|Mourinho feels sorry for Allardyce|
|United boss primed for ´must-win´ Europa League tie|
|Mourinho keen to protect under-fire Rooney|
|Jeonbuk Motors 4 Seoul 1: Leonardo brace puts hosts in the driving seat|
|Maloney returns to Scotland squad|
|Van Persie: Kids will decide my future|
|Entrapment won on this occasion - Allardyce|
|Ibra-Rashford pairing the answer for United - Neville|
|Tevez hints at imminent retirement|
|England in safe hands with Southgate - Glenn|
|Holman talks up A-League quality|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Red Bulls progress, Timbers win|
|Januzaj blow for Sunderland|
|Navas accepts blame for Dortmund equaliser|
|Sporting assistant Raul Jose pleased with win|
|Nuno left to regret slow start as Porto fail on English soil again|
|Vardy rejected Arsenal due to style|
|Simeone: I am not Griezmann´s mentor|
|Schmidt bemoans ´brutal´ Monaco equaliser|
|Ranieri doesn´t trust bookies over England job|
|Genesio worried wastefulness will cost Lyon in long run|
|Preud´homme admits Champions League too much for Club Brugge|
|Telegraph passes findings to FA after further corruption claims|
|Zidane: Draw difficult to accept|
|Pochettino delighted with in-form Son|
|Vietto undeterred by wasteful showing|
|Tuchel: Dortmund can still get better|
|Resilient Leicester display pleases Morgan|
|Glenn reflects on ´painful´ call to dismiss ´distraught´ Allardyce|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 2: Late Schurrle strike salvages draw|
|Monaco 1 Bayer Leverkusen 1: Glik stunner snatches a point|
|Dinamo Zagreb 0 Juventus 4: Pjanic pilots comfortable victory|
|CSKA Moscow 0 Tottenham 1: In-form Son hits late winner|
|Copenhagen 4 Club Brugge 0: Delaney stunner helps Danish champions canter to victory|
|Sporting CP 2 Legia Warsaw 0: Magiera´s first game ends in defeat|
|Sevilla 1 Lyon 0: Ben Yedder seals win for Europa League holders|
|Leicester City 1 Porto 0: Slimani continues to haunt old foes|
|Shearer: Allardyce has made England a laughing stock|
|Howe, Pardew and Wenger among the contenders to succeed Allardyce|
|Emery´s PSG struggles give Ludogorets hope|
|Allardyce offers ´wholehearted apology´ for England shame|
|Lahm: ´Extraordinary´ Griezmann different to Lewandowski|
|Iniesta is the best in the world, claims Menotti|
|Irregular heartbeat ends Dempsey´s season|
|Bournemouth ´realistic´ over permanent deal for Wilshere|
|Guardiola warns against complacency|
|Allardyce and England part company after damning video|
|De Bruyne out for up to three weeks - Guardiola|
|Luis Enrique demands fast start at Gladbach|
|Ancelotti wary of Atletico threat|
|Al Ain 3 El Jaish 1: Caio capitalises on late error|
|Ter Stegen happy with solution to Bravo battle|
|Emery: PSG need time to gel|
|Hernandez: It was very difficult at Real Madrid|
|Derby stand down Pearson ahead of Cardiff match|
|Rodgers sympathises with ´poor guy´ Allardyce|
|Opponents are trying to get Ribery send off - Hoeness|
|Martino named Atlanta United head coach|
|Rodgers urges Celtic to have belief against City|
|Rodgers has made same impact as Guardiola - Brown|
|Benfica one of the best in Europe, warns Sarri|
|Menotti: Ronaldo never played in a team like Messi´s|
|Walcott happy to move on from Arsenal struggles|
|Champions League Matchday Two: Bayern hunt Atleti revenge|
|Coquelin facing three weeks out|
|Arsenal transfers beyond reproach, says Wenger|
|Schubert extends Gladbach contract|
|Lewandowski urges Bayern to learn from Atletico defeat|
|Griezmann feared Simeone to PSG was ´a done deal´|
|FA investigating Allardyce claims|
|Valencia keep Voro in charge for Atletico clash|
|One of Serie A´s all-time greats: The numbers behind Totti at 40|
|Toure brands FIFA ´complacent´ after racism taskforce closed|
|Emery expects Ronaldo to stay at Real Madrid|
|Tottenham not scared of Moscow trip - Alderweireld|
|Sessegnon signs with Montpellier|
|Rakitic delighted with form|
|Gameiro: I could have joined Barcelona|
|Stones talks up Celtic quality|
|Liverpool good enough to win title - Houllier|
|Klopp happy with Firmino in central role|
|Watford got bullied all over the pitch - Deeney|
|Nuno keen for Porto to end England misery|
|Legia boss Magiera set for whirlwind debut|
|´Terrific´ Burnley delight Dyche|