Liege: World Cup-bound Japan were left in no doubt about the large task ahead of them in Russia after being outplayed by Ukraine in a 2-1 defeat in a friendly on Tuesday.
Oleksandr Karavaev ghosted into the penalty area to thump home a 69th minute winner after a strong run down the left by Yevhen Konoplyanka to seal victory for Ukraine, who missed out on qualifying for this year's World Cup in neighbouring Russia.
Ukraine took a 21st minute lead when Yaroslav Rakitskiy‘s long-range shot took a deflection but Japan were level at halftime after a glancing header by Tomoaki Makino from a 41st minute free-kick.
The Japanese used Standard Liege’s stadium as their base for two warm-up games having snatched a last-gasp draw with Mali on Friday.
Japan play Colombia in their opening World Cup game in Saransk on June 19 before taking facing Senegal and Poland in Group H.