Italy v Japan, 19 June 2013

Score4-3 to Italy
RefereeDiego Abal
CompetitionFIFA Confederations Cup Group A
VenueItaipava Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Attendance40,489
Kick-off: 7.00pm local (11.00pm BST) Match Report Japan dominated the early period of the match. With the Brazilian crowd behind them all the early chances fell their way. Kagawa was the first to test Buffon with a long rang effort. The breakthrough was soon the come. A short back pass from De Sciglio put Buffon in trouble. The Italian goalkeeper rushed out and conceded a penalty. It was calmly dispatched by Honda. Shortly after the lead was doubled. A bouncing ball in the Italian area fell to Kagawa who swivelled and slotted a volley into the corner. Prandelli took drastic measures after half an hour replacing Aquilani with Giovinco. Despite Japanese dominance, Italy pulled one back before the break. Pirlo's corner was met by De Rossi at the near post. Giaccherini could have levelled before the break but struck a post. Italy started the second period well. They soon equalised with an own goal following a Yoshida error. The Italians then took the lead with a penalty. Hasebe had been harshly penalised for handball. Japan did not give up. They equalised through a free kick as Okazaki got ahead of his marker at the near post. The Japanese pushed for a winner and should have got one when Kagawa and Okazaki each struck the woodwork. Against the run of play Italy hit the winner. Japan were punished again for sloppiness at the back. Marchisio pounced and squared to Giovinco who finished. Without doubt the best game of the tournament and probably one of the best international fixtures you are likely to see for some time. Japan were terribly unlucky but in the end punished by the ruthless Italians. Preview Italy will be strong favourites to beat Japan after a solid opening match against Mexico. Mario Balotelli will again aim to impose himself physically on the Japanese backline. After an impressive performance in the first game, Emanuele Giaccherini is likely to keep his place ahead of young AC Milan star Stephan El Shaarawy. Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni will need to find a formula to stop influential playmaker Andrea Pirlo. He will also look to the likes of Shinji Kagawa to step up for Japan to keep their hopes alive in this tournament.

4  Italy

Manager: Cesare Prandelli

3  Japan

Manager: Alberto Zaccheroni

Goals:

Daniele De Rossi 41 G
Atsuto Uchida own goal 50 OG
Mario Balotelli penalty 52 P
Sebastian Giovinco 86 G

Goals:

Keisuke Honda penalty 21 P
Shinji Kagawa 33 G
Shinji Okazaki 69 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (captain)
Defender Andrea Barzagli
Defender Christian Maggio
Midfielder Alberto Aquilani
Midfielder Daniele De Rossi
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo
Forward Mario Balotelli
Forward Andrea Pirlo

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima
Defender Yūto Nagatomo
Defender Atsuto Uchida
Defender Maya Yoshida
Midfielder Yasuhito Endo
Midfielder Makoto Hasebe (captain)
Midfielder Keisuke Honda
Midfielder Shinji Kagawa
Midfielder Yasuyuki Konno
Forward Ryoichi Maeda
Forward Shinji Okazaki

Substitutions:

Sebastian Giovinco for Alberto Aquilani 30
Ignazio Abate for Christian Maggio 59
Claudio Marchisio for Emanuele Giaccherini 68

Substitutions:

Hiroki Sakai for Atsuto Uchida 73
Mike Havenaar for Ryoichi Maeda 79
Kengo Nakamura for Makoto Hasebe 90

Cards:

Gianluigi Buffon 20 Y
Daniele De Rossi 36 Y

Cards:

Makoto Hasebe 52 Y
Yasuyuki Konno 90 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Frederico Marchetti
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu
Defender Ignazio Abate
Defender Davide Astori
Defender Leonardo Bonucci
Midfielder Antonio Candreva
Midfielder Alessandro Diamanti
Midfielder Stephan El Shaarawy
Midfielder Claudio Marchisio
Forward Alessio Cerci

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda
Goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa
Defender Yuzo Kurihara
Defender Hiroki Sakai
Defender/Midfielder Gotoku Sakai
Midfielder Hajime Hosogai
Midfielder Masahiko Inoha
Midfielder Takashi Inui
Midfielder Kengo Nakamura
Midfielder Hideto Takahashi
Forward Mike Havenaar