Group B winners Italy needed a late Emmanuele Zurlo goal to get past challengers Japan 3-2 in the quarter-finals, to set up a meeting in the last four with Tahiti.
Unlike the first two quarter-finals of the day, Italy and Japan played a very gritty and tight game with both teams putting in quality defensive displays.
An early strike by Japan's defensive fortress Ozu Moreira, his first at Portugal 2015, was soon cancelled out by Zurlo late in the first period.
The score remained even for a long stretch of the match, until Dario Ramacciotti scored the second goal in the second period - an impressive volley from distance. A free-kick by Japan's Takasuke Goto early in the third leveled the score yet again. However, Zurlo’s second goal of the day and seventh in the tournament secured the victory in the final minutes.