Japan without Honda, Nagatomo for WCup qualifier
Japan will be without CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda and
Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo for its World Cup qualifying
match against Jordan at Amman on March 26.
Nagatomo is recovering from a knee injury. CSKA Moscow said
Honda is unfit, but has not elaborated on the specifics of his
The 23-man squad named by Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni on
Thursday does include 13 Europe-based players including Manchester
United’s Shinji Kagawa and Stuttgart forward Shinji Okazaki, who
scored twice against Latvia in a friendly last month.
”Everyone knows how highly I value (Honda and Nagatomo) but
it’s not the first time we have been without them,” Zaccheroni
said. ”The players who have replaced them have always done a good
The squad will warm up for the Jordan match with a friendly
against Canada at Doha on March 22. A win for Zaccheroni’s side
against Jordan should secure it a place at Brazil 2014.
A draw would also be enough to earn Japan one of the two
automatic World Cup places from their group if Oman can hold
Australia to a draw.
Forward Yuki Otsu of Dutch club VVV Venlo retains his place in
the squad after making his debut as a substitute against
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa
(Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
Defenders: Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba
Osaka), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama F Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo
Iwata), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki
Sakai (Hannover), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart)
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura
(Kawasaki Frontale), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Hajime Hosogai
(Bayer Leverkusen), Hideto Takahashi (FC Tokyo)
Forwards: Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Shinji Okazaki
(Stuttgart), Mike Havenaar (Vitesse Arnhem), Takashi Inui
(Eintracht Frankfurt), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Hiroshi
Kiyotake (Nuremberg), Yuki Otsu (VVV Venlo).