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National team manager Alberto Zaccheroni was looking for improvement in his players’ physical condition in Monday’s friendly against Costa Rica, but the mental boost they received from their 3-1 win could turn out to be even more important.

Japan came from behind to beat the Central Americans after a rousing second-half performance, with substitute Yasuhito Endo equalizing before Shinji Kagawa put the Asian champions ahead in the 80th minute and Yoichiro Kakitani added a third in the dying stages.

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