Daniele De Rossi concedes “Japan were incredible and the result is probably the only positive thing” about Italy’s game.
The Azzurri scraped a 4-3 victory to qualify for the Confederations Cup semi-finals despite going 2-0 down.
It was De Rossi’s header that gave them a foothold in the match before half-time.
“Japan were incredible, so strong and powerful,” he told Rai Sport.
“I’ve never experienced a climate like this, as on 68 minutes I looked at the clock and thought we’d been playing for 200 minutes.
“We were fortunate tonight and hopefully it can act as a lesson for us. The result is probably the only positive thing about this evening.”
The Roma midfielder will be suspended for the final Group A match against Brazil due to two yellow cards.
“I got the yellow card and it’s a shame to miss Brazil, but it can be good for others to get a chance. Playing for Italy has always made me immensely proud.”