• Kyodo

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Japan and Cerezo Osaka midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake, who has injured his right leg, will be replaced by Kashiwa Reysol’s Hiroki Sakai ahead of the national team’s World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan next week, the Japan Football Association said Monday.

Sakai, who plays for Japan’s Under-22 side, will make his first full appearance with the national squad after joining for training on Tuesday. Japan plays Tajikistan at Nagai Stadium in Osaka the following Tuesday.

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