Eddie Jones (Gallo Images)
Brighton - A last-minute Karne Hesketh try secured a 34-32 win over two-time champions South Africa in one of the biggest shocks in Rugby World Cup history on Saturday.
Japan attacked the Springboks from the first minute in an inspiring performance in the Pool D opening match in Brighton.
After Ayumu Goromaru scored 24 points including an brilliant try to keep Japan in the game, Hesketh finally pierced South Africa's desperate defence in the dying seconds to claim the famous win.
Japan's players went on a lap of honour with national flag amid a roars of support from the 29,000 crowd.
"It's a fantastic achievement," said coach Eddie Jones who will leave the team after the World Cup.
"We worked really hard for this - but look for me personally its right up there with my best days in the sport," said the coach who guided Australia to the 2003 final and was member of the Springboks coaching team for their 2007 World Cup triumph.
South Africa went into the game expecting a big win but Japan were never overawed.
The Asian champions, who will host the 2019 World Cup, had won only one previous World Cup game against Zimbabwe in 1991. They have drawn two and lost 21.
But they are determined not to be the whipping boys of this tournament.