Lucky England beats Japan in WCup warmup

LONDON (AP) — England missed a penalty shot and needed two own goals to beat Japan 2-1 in a World Cup warmup Sunday, while the Ivory Coast squandered a two-goal lead to draw with Paraguay.

In other games involving World Cup teams, Mexico outplayed non-qualifier Gambia 5-1 with two goals each by Javier Hernandez and Adolfo Bautista; France used a second-half goal from William Gallas to tie Tunisia 1-1; South Korea lost 1-0 to Belarus; and Nigeria tied Colombia 1-1.

Japan's Marcus Tanaka scored a goal for each team and Yuji Nakazawa deflected a cross past his own 'keeper, who earlier saved Frank Lampard's penalty shot against England.

"I am happy for the second half. I think we played better, faster. We found the space," said England coach Fabio Capello, who will name his final squad of 23 on deadline day Tuesday. "(In the first) we played too slow, passes wide. It was easy for the Japanese to defend."

England is in a World Cup group that includes the United States, which left for South Africa on Sunday, along with Slovenia and Algeria.

Like many of the warmup matches, the game was played at altitude in the Austrian city of Graz so that the two teams could get used to playing in the conditions they will encounter next month in South Africa when the competition kicks off June 11.

Paraguay rallied from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Ivory Coast in the French town of Thonon-les-Bains. Didier Drogba and Souleymane Bamba put the Ivory Coast ahead by the 73rd minute, but Lucas Barrios replied in the 75th and Aureliano Torres equalized in the 89th.

"I think everybody understands the message the coach is trying to deliver," Drogba said. "We're still working and we still have some things to change."

Paraguay faces Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia in the World Cup group stage and the Ivory Coast, now coached by Sven-Goran Eriksson, faces Brazil, Portugal and North Korea.

Problems continue to mount for France coach Raymond Domenech, whose team fell behind to Issam Jomaa's fifth-minute strike for Tunisia. Arsenal defender Gallas, recently returned from injury, scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute to save the French.

Hernandez, who is headed for Manchester United, and Bautista scored two goals each in Mexico's victory over non-qualifier Gambia at Bayreuth, Germany. Alberto Medina added the fifth for Mexico, which opens the World Cup against host South Africa on June 11 and then meets former champions France and Uruguay.

In the Austrian town of Kufstein, Syarhey Kislyak's 53rd-minute goal gave non-qualifier Belarus a 1-0 victory and ended South Korea's four-game winning streak that included victories over Ivory Coast and Japan.

South Korea plays Spain in Innsbruck on Thursday in its final World Cup warmup match before traveling to South Africa, where it meets Greece, Argentina and Nigeria in the group stage.

Carlos Valdes gave Colombia a 12th-minute lead in Nigeria's next-to-last warmup game ahead of the competition, but Monaco midfielder Lukman Haruna leveled in the 69th.

Nigeria also faces North Korea in a friendly in Johannesburg on June 5 before meeting two-time champion Argentina in its tournament opener one week later.