• Kyodo

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Defenders Yuto Nagatomo and Tomoaki Makino have both pulled out of Japan’s squad for two upcoming World Cup qualifying games due to injury.

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic replaced the pair on Sunday, with Urawa Reds’ Wataru Endo and FC Tokyo’s Yuichi Maruyama, for Japan’s first two games of the final round of Asian qualifying. The two joined Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) and Takashi Usami (Augsburg) at training camp, where 17 of the 24 called-up players have already assembled.

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