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Wed., June 19, 2013

Alberto Zaccheroni’s first foray into international football culminated in a resounding success, and his second big tournament hinges on a meeting with his home country. Zaccheroni, a 60-year-old tactical expert from Italy, qualified Japan for the Confederations Cup by leading the team to the Asian Cup title in 2011. But the Japanese lost to Brazil 3-0 on Saturday in the opening match of this year’s World Cup warm-up tournament, putting their chances of reaching the semifinals in early danger. To make things more difficult for Zaccheroni and Japan, they face Italy today ( 2:45 p.m., ESPN) in Group A at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. – AP


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