Result: Japan overcome Cyprus in friendly

Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa celebrates scoring for Japan against South Korea on August 10, 2011.
© Getty Images
Asian champions Japan defeat Cyprus 1-0 in a World Cup warm-up encounter, with Atsuto Uchida scoring the only goal of the game.

Japan stepped up their preparations for this summer's World Cup by defeating Cyprus 1-0 in a friendly at the Saitama Stadium this afternoon.

The hosts dominated most of the first half, but both Shinji Kagawa and Yasuhito Endo saw early efforts saved by visiting goalkeeper Panos Konstantinou.

However, Konstantinou could not prevent Japan from breaking the deadlock two minutes before the break. Manchester United playmaker Kagawa saw his shot blocked, but the ball fell for Atsuto Uchida, who scored from close range.

Alberto Zaccheroni's men continued to control proceedings after the restart, although they were unable to breach the Cypriot net for a second time as the contest ended 1-0 to the home side.

They will now take on Costa Rica and Zambia in further warm-up encounters, before facing Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia in the group stages in Brazil.

Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa celebrates scoring for Japan against South Korea on August 10, 2011.
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