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

condition.

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

job.”

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

Latvia.

—-

Japan squad:

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).