• Kyodo

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Urawa Reds defender Tomoaki Makino has pulled out of Japan’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cambodia and Afghanistan due to a right groin injury, the Japan Football Association announced on Monday.

Makino has been replaced by FC Tokyo’s Yuichi Maruyama, who received his first call-up to the national side.

Japan, which launched its qualifying campaign in June with a forgettable 0-0 home draw to Singapore, hosts Cambodia on Thursday before facing Afghanistan away on Sept. 8.

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