Amanaki Mafi scored a late try to give Japan a 13-10 Test win over Georgia at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester on Saturday.
Georgia were in the ascendancy for the majority of the contest, but a yellow card to flank Victor Kolelishvili for a dangerous tackle saw Japan snatch victory.
Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru opened the scoring with a penalty goal, but Georgia's forwards proved too much for Eddie Jones' charges as they rumbled in Japanese territory. Their dominance were rewarded when right wing Muraz Giorgadze crossed for a converted try. Goromaru succeeded with a second penalty, but the Goergians still led 7-6 at the break.
The slugfest continued in the second half, but the Europeans managed to extend their lead through a penalty by flyhalf Lasha Malaguradze.
However, Japan made the most of their one-man advantage in the closing stages of the game.
No 8 Mafi bundled over from the back of a driving maul and Gomoramu added the extras.
There was still time for a restart, but Japan's defence held firm to keep Samoa out in the dying stages to secure the win.
Georgia – Try: Muraz Giorgadze. Conversion: Lasha Malaguradze. Penalty: Malaguradze.
Japan – Try: Amanaki Mafi. Conversion: Goromaru. Penalty: Ayumu Goromaru (2).
Georgia – 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Muraz Giorgadze, 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Giorgi Aptsiauri, 10 Lasha Malaguradze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze (c), 7 Victor Kolelishvili, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Subs: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Davit Kubriashvili, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Levan Datunashvili, 20 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 23 Giorgi Pruidze.
Japan – 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sa'u, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Hendrik Tui, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Ryu Koliniasi Holani, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Subs: 16 Takayuki Watanabe, 17 Takeshi Kizu, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.
Photo: Paul Ellis/Getty Images