Japan names European-based squad for World Cup qualifier vs Myanmar
Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu on Thursday named an entirely European-based squad to face Myanmar in a home Fifa World Cup qualifier next week, with domestic players unavailable.
The fixture was rearranged from March because of the coup in Myanmar and falls outside Fifa’s international dates, ruling out J-League players who are in action for their clubs that weekend.
Japan thrashed Mongolia 14-0 in their last World Cup outing, and Moriyasu said he wanted another ruthless performance against Myanmar.
“First of all, we want to win the game in front of us against Myanmar and book our place in the next round,” said Moriyasu, whose team has won five games out of five, with 27 goals scored and none conceded.
“We want to use the games after that to strengthen and prepare to get through the final qualifying round. But first of all we want to get ready for the game in front of us as best we can.”
Japan will also play World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and friendlies against Jamaica and Serbia over the next three weeks.
Japan’s Under-24 Olympic side is also in action, with friendlies against Ghana’s Under-24s and the full Jamaica national team.
Domestic and overseas-based players will be available for both teams after the Myanmar game.
Moriyasu said former Southampton defender Maya Yoshida would be one of three over-age players at the Tokyo Games, along with Stuttgart’s Wataru Endo and Marseille’s Hiroki Sakai.
“They’re players who can contribute to the team and have an influence on the young, inexperienced members of the squad,” said Moriyasu.
“They can show how to act on and off the pitch, and they can help the young players develop.”
Japan squad to play Myanmar on May 28
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg/FRA), Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden/BEL), Kosuke Nakamura (Portimonense/POR)
Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Marseille/FRA), Maya Yoshida (Sampdoria/ITA), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille/FRA), Sei Muroya (Hannover/GER), Naomichi Ueda (Nimes/FRA), Yuta Nakayama (PEC Zwolle/NED), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Bologna/ITA), Daiki Hashioka (Sint-Truiden/BEL), Yukinari Sugawara (AZ/NED)
Midfielders: Genki Haraguchi (Hannover/GER), Wataru Endo (Stuttgart/GER), Junya Ito (Genk/BEL), Kento Hashimoto (Rostov/RUS), Takumi Minamino (Southampton/ENG), Hidemasa Morita (Santa Clara/POR), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Kou Itakura (Groningen/NED), Koji Miyoshi (Antwerp/BEL), Keita Endo (Union Berlin/GER), Ritsu Doan (Arminia Bielefeld/GER), Takefusa Kubo (Getafe/ESP)
Forwards: Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen/GER), Takuma Asano (unattached)
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.