Japan beats Cyprus 1-0 in World Cup tuneup

Makoto Hasebe of Japan controls the ball during their game against Cyprus.

Mark Kolbe

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) Defender Atsuto Uchida scored late in the first half on Tuesday as Japan beat Cyprus 1-0 in the team’s final match on home soil before departing for the World Cup.

Uchida put Japan ahead in the 43rd minute when he picked up a rebound off a save by Cyprus goalkeeper Panos Constantinoy and calmly tapped in from close range.

Japan, which is preparing for its fifth consecutive World Cup campaign, faces Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia in Group C in Brazil.

Shinji Kagawa had Japan’s best scoring chance in the second half with a right-footed shot from the top of the area that forced Constantinoy to make a diving save.

Alberto Zaccheroni’s team will leave Japan on Thursday for a training camp in Florida that includes warmup matches against Costa Rica and Zambia.