England beats Japan in World Cup warmup
London: England missed a penalty and needed two own goals to beat Japan 2-1 in World Cup warmup action while the Ivory Coast surrendered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Paraguay.
Japan`s Marcus Tanaka scored a goal for each team and Yuji Nakazawa deflected a cross past his own `keeper, who earlier saved Frank Lampard`s penalty yesterday.
Although Chelsea star Didier Drogba scored the first of two Ivory Coast goals, Aureliano Torres equalized with a minute to go to complete Paraguay`s fightback.
In other games involving World Cup sides, Mexico outplayed non-qualifier Gambia 5-1 with two goals each by Javier Hernandez and Adolfo Bautista, but South Korea was beaten 1-0 by Belarus.
After Tanaka had exposed some poor England set-piece defending to give Japan a seventh-minute lead, it got worse for Fabio Capello`s team when Lampard had a penalty blocked by goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.
But Tanaka headed a cross by Joe Cole into his own net in the 72nd minute and Nakazawa deflected a cross by Ashley Cole past his goalkeeper in the 83rd.
"I am happy for the second half. I think we played better, faster. We found the space," said Capello, who will name his final squad of 23 on deadline day Tuesday.
Like many of the warmup matches, the game was played at altitude in the Austrian city of Graz so that the two teams could get used to playing in the conditions they will encounter next month in South Africa when the competitions kicks off June 11.
Paraguay hit back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Ivory Coast in the French town of Thonon-les-Bains.
After Drogba and Souleymane Bamba had fired the Ivorians 2-0 ahead by the 73rd minute, Lucas Barrios replied in the 75th and Torres equalized in the 89th.
Paraguay faces Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia in the World Cup group stage and the Ivory Coast, now coached by Sven-Goran Eriksson, faces Brazil, Portugal and North Korea.
Hernandez, who is headed for Manchester United, and Bautista scored two goals each in Mexico`s victory over non-qualifier Gambia at Bayreuth, Germany. Alberto Medina added the fifth for Mexico, which opens the World Cup against host South Africa on June 11 and then meets former champions France and Uruguay.
In the Austrian town of Kufstein, Syarhey Kislyak`s 53rd-minute goal gave non-qualifier Belarus a 1-0 victory and ended South Korea`s four-game winning streak which included victories over Ivory Coast and Japan.
South Korea plays Spain in Innsbruck on Thursday in its final World Cup warmup match before traveling to South Africa, where it meets Greece, Argentina and Nigeria in Group B.
In later games, 1998 World Cup winner France faced Tunisia and Nigeria met Colombia.