4 - 3


Confederations Cup
20 June 2013
Game week
1 - 2
4 - 3


0 - 1
21' K. Honda (PG)
0 - 2
33' S. Kagawa (G) (assist by: Y. Konno)
D. De Rossi (G) 41' (assist by: A. Pirlo)
1 - 2
A. Uchida (OG) 50'
2 - 2
M. Balotelli (PG) 52'
3 - 2
3 - 3
69' S. Okazaki (G) (assist by: Y. Endō)
S. Giovinco (G) 86' (assist by: C. Marchisio)
4 - 3


Minute   Description
Thanks for joining me, Mohammed Ali, for tonight's Confederations Cup games. I'm sure you've enjoyed it, I know I have. Stick around on Goal with reports and ratings from tonight's superb encounter. Until next time.
Japan take on Mexico, having earned the respect of the footballing world tonight in this all-time classic. Italy tussle for first place against Brazil in Salvador. Both games kick of simultaneously at 21:00 CET on Saturday.
Unbelievable. Goals, own goals, Buffon possible red, and Kagawa and Okazaki hitting the woodwork left right and centre. Just unfathomable, really. Italy are into the semi-finals, Japan are heading home.
Japan were brilliant. So were Italy. A footballing classic, one of the best games in the Confederations Cup. Congratulations to the Azzurri, commiserations to the Samurai Blue. But what an amazing encounter.
90'+3 Goal-kick for Japan. One last time for the Samurai Blue - but surely that's it....
90'+2 Buffon thought about coming for that, but stayed on his goal-line, but the ball sails out for a goal-kick. Balotelli goes down - presumably of cramp.
90'+1 K. Nakamura comes on for M. Hasebe.
Cross coming in from the left, and almost catches out Buffon. Havenaar causing havoc in the box, and it's a corner. CAN IT BE?!
90' Y. Konno is yellow-carded.
Into three additional minutes here at the Arena Pernambuco. I don't want it to end.
89' What a game, I cannot stress this enough. Japan do deserve at least a draw for their efforts. Such a cruel ending. They will go out of the Confederations Cup if they do not get at least a draw.
What a game, I cannot stress this enough. Japan do deserve at least a draw for their efforts. Such a cruel ending. They will go out of the Confederations Cup if they do not get at least a draw.
88' GOOA-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! IT'S OFFSIDE! Unbelievable call from the referee, as Yoshida taps into an empty net from a corner, which cannons off the crossbar. Heartbreak for Japan. The roof was about to explode!
86' Assist by C. Marchisio.
GOAAAL! ITALY 4-3 JAPAN! I don't believe it. Superb pass from De Rossi into Marchisio, who instantly squares the ball towards Sebastian Giovinco. That was brilliant. The Azzurri lead, the Samurai Blue are on the verge...
Say what you like about Cesare Prandelli - but he's made a few fantastic changes tonight, as well as masterminding the Azzurri's revival soon after half-time. What a coach!
83' Kagawa finds and threads a ball towards Okazaki, whose overhit pass cannot exactly locate Mike Havenaar on the far side. Time is ticking.
82' Unbelievable stuff. What a game. What a chance. This will possibly go down as the greatest Confederations Cup game in history since its inception. Fantastic play from Japan, who still require a fourth.
81' OKAZAKI!!! Oh dear me, how are Japan not ahead? Lost for words, this. Unbelievable football being played here. Okazaki with a shot, off the post, and Kagawa header bounces off the floor, off the crossbar and out!!
79' R. Maeda is done for the day. M. Havenaar is his replacement.
78' SUBSTITUTION: Japan - Mike Havenaar on for Ryoichi Maeda.
76' HASEBE! Wow, that should've been 4-3 there. Amazing strike. Balotelli loses the ball, Yoshida tees up the captain on the edge of the area, and it's a piledriver. Just over the bar. Wow. Wow. Wow.
75' Last 15 minutes of the game here, after a disappointing Azzurri free-kick is fired behind for a goal-kick. And I think I speak for everyone when I say, we don't want this to end!!
74' Goal's Cesare Polenghi on Twitter: Endo celebrates his assist against Italy by drinking water from a bottle. He is cooler than Balotelli, c'mon.
73' A. Uchida is done for the day. H. Sakai is his replacement.
BALOTELLI!! Unbelievable. Almost a fine Balo goal there, as De Rossi fires a superb ball into the path of the Milan forward, but after handballing, he attempts to fire the ball past the onrushing Kawashima. Ref rightly spots the infringement though.
72' SUBSTITUTION - Japan: Hirokai Sakai replaces Atsuto Uchida for the Samurai Blue.
71' This is the best game of the Confederations Cup by far, just amazing.
70' Wow, funny how much a goal changes a team's confidence. Japan on it once more, with Keisuke Honda embarking on a mazy run throughout the midfield before testing Buffon with a stinging effort. This is brilliant.
69' Assist by Y. Endō.
GOOOOOOOAL! ITALY 3-3 JAPAN! THEY'VE PULLED IT BACK AGAIN! Superb free-kick from Yasuhito Endo into the path of Shinji Okazaki, who rises highest to glance the ball past Gianluigi Buffon. Great header.
Goal's Martin at Arena Pernambuco: And the crowd goes wild again after Okazaki's equalizer! The whole stadium chants "Japon, Japon", trying to push the Blue Samurai to a historic win
68' C. Marchisio enters the game and replaces E. Giaccherini.
67' More from Martin in Recife: Despite his team's fantastic comeback, Cesare Prandelli doesn't stop shouting from his bench, he wants his players to push forward as Japan has control of the ball at the moment. His opposite number, Zaccheroni, just watches with his arms crossed waiting for something to happen
66' Kagawa again aims to race through the midfield, but takes in one too any before he is dispossessed by Abate. Can't take them all on, my friend.
65' MAEDA!! Great dink of the ball by Kagawa into the box as Maeda races away from Barzagli. Can't keep the ball in play, but strikes nonetheless into the side netting, under pressure from Buffon
63' Kagawa combines with Endo on the edge of the area, as they continue to press, but the long ball towards Honda is too powerful, and bounces away for a goal-kick.
62' Chiellini with the header away, as Japan continue to camp out on the edge of the area. And each time, Italy divert the ball away. Balotelli loses possession up front, leaving Japan to embark on a triangle passing game between Uchida and two midfielders.
61' Superb piece of skill from Shinji Okazaki who skills his way past two defenders. Japan still with the momentum here but they're unable to do much with it.
60' Substitution: Italy - Christian Maggio off for Ignazio Abate.
Pirlo with the free-kick, and dangerously headed away by Konno there, as Japan awkwardly clear the ball away, but nevertheless, possession of the ball is claimed by Pirlo once again seconds later. Japan having rouble with possession.
59' I. Abate comes on for C. Maggio.
Referee's not been very good tonight, I think we can all agree. First major international call up for Argentine Diego Abal, who is on the preliminary list for next year's World Cup.
58' And now it's Japan at the other end, completely end-to-end action this. Nagatomo with the delivery, and it's denied at the death by an alert Azzurri defence.
57' KAWASHIMA! Good save on the goal-line from the header. Corner drifts in dangerously, and headed straight into the midriff of the goalkeeper, who somehow stops on the line.
56' GIOVINCO!! Wow. What a strike, and only just wide, saved well by Kawashima. Great attempt from the little forward. Italy corner.
Okazaki comes in to offer a threat in the middle, but Italy are holding strong at the moment, as the delivery into the box is easily headed away. Italy much more confident, much more positive.
55' More from our man Martin in Recife: What a change of scenary we have witnessed in Recife! The fans have passed from disbelief to shock as Italy went from 0-2 to 3-2 in 15 minutes each side of half-time. There's an eery silence in the stands at the moment
54' Yellow card for Hasebe from the handball incident, and he'll miss the next game against Mexico. As it stands, Japan are going out, so it'll be a dead rubber anyway.
53' A rather controversial turn of events here, Italy started this second half seven minutes ago 2-1 down, and now lead 3-2. Japan have imploded, and it was such a poor decision to award a pen for Hasebe's handball, one would presume.
52' GOOOOOAL! ITALY 3-2 JAPAN!! Mario Balotelli tucks away the penalty, easily, turning past Kawashima, sending him the wrong way with a bit of a dummy there. Italy's comeback is complete.
M. Hasebe receives a yellow card.
51' WHAT A TURNAROUND!! Such an unlucky penalty to give away. Absolutely poor decision. Balotelli's shot blocked by Hasebe, but off his leg and then his hand. It's unbelievable that.
50' GOOOOOOAL!! ITALY 2-2 JAPAN! Atsuto Uchida with the own goal there, but the real mistake was from Southampton's Maya Yoshida. Easily dispossessed by Giaccherini, who attempts to sidefoot towards Balotelli, but Uchida sees to it first, turning past Kawashima.
48' Poor free-kick from Pirlo there, headed away at the first attempt but Italy still have the ball here, through Giaccherini....
47' Can Italy hit back in this second half, after ending the first as the ominant side. They have a free-kick here, to be taken by Pirlo.
46' Underway in the second half here, Japan attacking from left to right.
HALF-TIME: Italy 1-2 Japan.
What an enthralling game, this. It's been all Japan, up until the final five minutes of the half. Kagawa has been excellent, as have Japan's offensive line in general. Should Buffon have seen red there? Or was it even a penalty? Or was the referee right? So many talking points. Get your messages in - via Twitter @mohammedali_93, or the chatbox on your right.
Half-time update from Martin: What a first half! The best we have seen so far in the tournament. The fans are ecsatic at the show put on by both teams in Recife
45'+19 MAEDA!! Great dink of the ball by Kagawa into the box as Maeda races away from Barzagli. Can't keep the ball in play, but strikes nonetheless into the side netting, under pressure from Buffon.
45'+1 GIACCHERINI!!! Almost 2-2 there. Oh, so close. Giaccherini picks up the loose ball, turns the defender inside out, bamboozling before he strikes the post. So frustrating.
PIRLO! Straight into the wall, and Ryoichi Maeda with a fine block at the second attempt. Not a great try that, goes without saying.
45' ONE minute of added time here at the end of the first half.
44' De Sciglio with a speculative pass into the box, Montolivo does well to steer the ball towards Maggio and keep possession, before Chiellini is pushed on the edge of the area by Honda. Free-kick Italy, and it's in a tasty position.
43' As it stands: Brazil through on six, Italy and Japan on three each, with Mexico eliminated. Almost coming up to half-time too.
42' Italy are back in this one, at the end of what has been an enthralling encounter so far in Recife. Japan ahead on possession, as Kagawa immediately searches for a third.
41' The assist came from A. Pirlo.
GOAAL! ITALY 1-2 JAPAN! Superb header from Daniele de Rossi. Brilliant goal. Powerful from the Roma man who heads directly into the goal past Kawashima. Game on!
39' PIRLO! Great free-kick, and only just above Kawashima's goal there. Superb strike, just days after his mercurial attempt against Mexico.
38' Buffon with another superb stop - twice - from Honda's free-kick. Italy just haven't clicked yet again. Will this mirror their 2009 Confederations Cup campaign, where they won their opening fixture, only to be humiliated by Egypt and go out?
37' Martin in Recife with another update: "Ole, ole" chant the people in Recife every time the Japanese complete a pass, and it's happening quite often!
36' D. De Rossi gets yellow.
YELLOW CARD: Daniele De Rossi - he will be suspended for the next match against Brazil.
35' Reaction from Martin at Arena Pernambuco: People at Recife couldn't be happier by the show put up by Japan so far, but the prevailing feeling is of disbelief. Nobody expected the Asian champs to put up such a dominant display against a world power such as Italy
34' Just unbelievable that, superb build-up from the Samurai Blue amid a fervent atmosphere in Recife. Kagawa with a composed finish on the half-volley to pierce Buffon's net.
33' Y. Konno gave the assist.
GOOALL!! ITALY 0-2 JAPAN! Wow, wow, wow. What a finish by Shinji Kagawa there. The Italians have really not got going in this encounter.
30' S. Giovinco enters play, replacing A. Aquilani.
SUBSTITUTION: Italy - Alberto Aquilani off for Sebastien Giovinco - an early change from Prandelli.
29' Ooh, well. Almost a penalty there?! Yoshida tussles with Balotelli, who takes a tumble right inside the penalty box. Referee instead, awards a free-kick the other way.
27' Great build-up from Japan as Nagatomo races forward, but his shot is easily thwarted by the Azzurri captain. Endo with a foul on Giaccherini as the Azzurri have a free-kick.
25' Italy pressing after that setback, as Maggio races down the right wing with another speculative delivery, but this time, Uchida is the man with the header away.
23' Well, well, well. It initially did look like Buffon should've walked, but he seems to have 'accidentally' claimed the ball in the tackle as the ball bobbled up with the man going down. It's Japan who lead in Recife!
22' Martin del Palacio Langer: The crowd went ballistic as Honda converted the penalty for Japan to open the mark. Very controversial call by Argentinian referee Diego Abal however
21' GOAAAAAL! ITALY 0-1 JAPAN! Keisuke Honda tucks away the penalty with aplomb as Japan take the lead. Can't say it's not deserved, as Honda easily powers past Buffon. Group A is wide open.
20' G. Buffon is cautioned by the referee.
YELLOW CARD - Gianluigi Buffon! What is going on here?! Buffon looks to win the ball, but catches out the attacker. Harsh, but Referee Diego Abal looks to dish out the customary red card once he gives the penalty, but he awards a yellow. Controversy!
19' Free-kick awarded to Japan after a silly foul by Giaccherini. Lovely delivery from Maggio on the right, nonetheless.
17' Disappointing corner from Japan, with Pirlo clearing easily at the near post. Prandelli's not happy either on the touchline.
16' KAGAWA! Wow, what a shot, and that was very dodgy for Buffon to deal with. Strikes powerfully from distance, and it proves slightly awkward for the Juve goalkeeper, who needs to punch it away for a corner.
15' More from Martin in Recife: "The local crowd are clearly behind Japan, when the small Italian contingent try to shout "Italia, Italia" they are quickly booed and their chants replaced by a "Japon, Japon"
14' Balotelli picks up the ball about 30 yards out, and immediately strikes towards goal, unluckily for him, it clatters off Konno.
13' Japan have a player down at the moment, Keisuke Honda. The CSKA Moscow man did well to shake off a niggle to return against Brazil, and lasted more than 85 minutes.
11' Italy just haven't got going yet, with Japan continuously threatening Gianluigi Buffon and co. at the other end of the field. They're not giving up their tournament without a fight!
10' Great ball in by Balotelli, who powers past two markers with a fine threatening delivery into the box which requires some attention by Kawashima, who punches the ball away. Hasebe clears in the end.
8' ENDO! Comfortably wide of Buffon's right post. Played short from the corner, as Kagawa finds the midfielder in space, but he powers well wide of the goal.
7' And still Japan are ploughing forward in numbers, with 60% of possession. Japan might've had the extra day in preparation, but they already look a better side!
5' MAEDA! Header straight at Buffon there. But what a chance for Japan. Superb start from Japan, who could've so easily have taken the lead there. Delightful cross from Kagawa into the path of Maeda whose header is comfortable in the end for Buffon.
4' Well, it's a positive opening from Alberto Zaccheroni's men, who are camped out in front of Italy's penalty box. Kagawa on the edge, but he's unable to pick out a team-mate, as De Sciglio clears.
3' Forward by Endo after a fine run forward by Kagawa. Nagatomo supports on the left, but the Samurai Blue are pushed all the way back.
2' Good pressure from the Japanese early on, as they work hard to retrieve the ball in humid conditions.
1' UNDERWAY in Recife! Italy get us started, attacking from left to right. A win will seal a place in the semi-finals.
National anthems being played, with the Italians going ahead first. Tonight's referee is from Argentina, Diego Abal.
More from Martin, with a musical anecdote in Recife: AC/DC rocking the stadium tonight as the teams prepare to jump on the pitch, is it me or all over the world they have the same pre-anthem soundtrack?
TEAM NEWS: Two changes in the Italy line-up, with Christian Maggio and Alberto Aquilani coming in for Ignazio Abate and Claudio Marchisio. Ryoichi Maeda returns to start up front for Japan.
This is the two nations' first encounter since a friendly at Saitama in 2001 - a 1-1 draw with Gianluigi Buffon the only player in the two squads to feature in this tournament. They've met at the Olympic Games too, the Azzurri prevailing 8-0 on that occasion.
ITALY (4-3-2-1); Buffon, Maggio, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo, Aquilani, Giaccherini, Balotelli
JAPAN (4-2-3-1); Kawashima; Uchida, Yoshida, Konno, Nagatomo; Endo, Hasebe; Okazaki, Honda, Kagawa; Maeda
We've already had a result in Group A tonight, for those who didn't join me for LIVE! coverage of Brazil-Mexico earlier tonight - fear not, Neymar starred with a goal and an assist (and a sumptuous one at that) to down El Tri 2-0 in Fortaleza. Match report and player ratings up on the main site.
Goal's Martin del Palacio Langer is our man in Recife tonight, and he brings us this first update: The teams are already warming up on the pitch and the fans are starting to fill the stand. It's very hot and humid in Recife at the moment, something that will surely affect what we will see on the pitch
Japan meanwhile suffered a chastening opening day defeat to hosts Brazil, going down 3-0 in the capital, Brasilia. They can shake up the group with victory here tonight, if not, Brazil-Italy on Saturday will effectively be a play-off for top spot.
Right well, round two, match six in the Confederations Cup, and the Azzurri can book a place in the last four with victory over Japan, who will be eliminated, along with Mexico if Cesare Prandelli's men prevail.


G. Buffon
E. Kawashima
C. Maggio
G. Chiellini
K. Honda
Y. Nagatomo
M. De Sciglio
A. Uchida
Y. Endō
A. Aquilani
M. Balotelli
S. Okazaki
S. Kagawa
Y. Konno
A. Barzagli
D. De Rossi
M. Hasebe
R. Montolivo
R. Maeda
A. Pirlo
M. Yoshida
E. Giaccherini

Additional info

D. Abal
H. Maidana
Fourth official
J. Aguilar


Match Stats

Italy Japan
29 Attacks (Dangerous) 44
2 Corners 6
11 Fouls 16
20 Free Kicks 12
11 Goal Kicks 6
1 Offsides 4
4 Shots (blocked) 1
3 Shots (off target) 4
3 Shots (on target) 7
1 Shots (woodwork) 2
16 Throw Ins 14

Itaipava Arena Pernambuco

Itaipava Arena Pernambuco 
Recife, Pernambuco