• Kyodo


Brave Japan saw its 10-match unbeaten run come to an end in controversial fashion Sunday after going down 3-2 away to Hungary in the first of two international friendlies for Zico’s side in eastern Europe.

The Asian champion looked down and out after Hungary had taken a two-goal lead through substitutes Attila Kuttor and Roland Juhasz but quick-fire goals from Keiji Tamada and Tatsuhiko Kubo pulled Japan back into the game with 13 minutes remaining.

Hungary, however, snatched victory after being awarded a dubious penalty, which Szabolcs Huszti smashed home in the dying seconds of the match.

Zico was furious about the penalty decision but hailed his players’ battling spirit.

“I’m pleased with the way we battled but there was no way that was a penalty,” he shrugged.

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