Frank Lampardsuffered his first defeat asChelseaboss asKawasaki Frontalescored late to snatch victory in Yokohama.
Leandro Damiao headed in at the back post as the hosts took advantage of a rare opportunity, pouncing on a defensive mistake from David Luiz to seal an unlikely pre-season win.
On an otherwise disappointing afternoon for Chelsea, Christian Pulisic made his debut as a second-half substitute.
Granted an extended summer break following the Gold Cup, Pulisic was named among the substitutes after joining the tour late and was thrown on in place of Mason Mount in the second half.
That was the highlight in an otherwise uninspiring performance from Chelsea, who were lifted by the introduction of Ross Barkley at the interval but still failed to find the breakthrough at the Nissan Stadium.
Barkley carved out their best two chances of the match, first finding Mount who sent a curling strike just past the far post before Kenedy steered another through pass narrowly wide.
Olivier Giroud, on for Michy Batshuayi after his latest failed audition, drew a smart save from a free-kick and then headed into the goalkeeper’s palms before Damiao struck late to clinch victory.