Japan scored early, but Ivory Coast notched back-to-back goals in a 98-second span in the second half to come out victorious in a Group C matchup of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Recife, Brazil.
Keisuke Honda started the scoring for Japan in the 16th minute of the contest. The forward collected a pass inside the goal box and ripped a shot past Ivory Coast goalkeeper Boubacar Barry into the top left corner of the net.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of Japan until the 64th minute when Wilfried Bony headed the ball in for a goal for Ivory Coast. Not long after that tally, Gervinho used a header of his own to get the ball into the net, which pushed Ivory Coast into the lead.
Japan fought back in the waning minutes, but could not mount a late goal to tie up the score.
Ivory Coast comes away with three points and is now tied with Colombia for the group lead. The two teams will meet on June 19 to decide first place in Group C. Japan will look to get its first points of the tournament next time out when it takes on Greece.
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