Cerezo Osaka striker Yoshito Okubo was on Monday left out of the Japan Under-23 squad for the final round of the Asia zone qualifiers for this year’s Olympics, just days after being axed from the Japan senior national squad for its 2006 World Cup qualifier against Oman in Saitama on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Kunimi High School striker Sota Hirayama was named to squad.

The gangly 18-year-old, who scored on his Olympic team debut in the 1-1 draw against Iran’s U-23s earlier this month, was named to the 20-man squad, which is drawn in Group B with Bahrain, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates for the final round of matches kicking off in the UAE next month.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.