Fri, Jun 21, 2013 - Page 18 News List

FIFA: Italy eliminate Japan in seven-goal thriller

AFP, RECIFE, Brazil

Three minutes after Uchida’s faux pas, Balotelli scored from the spot after Makoto Hasebe handled in the penalty area.

But Japan’s heads did not drop and they made it 3-3 in the 69th minute when Yasuhito Endo crossed for Okazaki to head in.

In an astonishing finale Okazaki hit the post and, with Buffon stranded, Kagawa saw his header bounce onto the bar when it seemed he must score.

With four minutes left of a pulsating match Giovinco netted from close range from Claudio Marchisio’s cross, meaning the pressure is off Italy as they into their final group match against fellow Group A qualifiers Brazil.

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