Soccer / World Cup

Kagawa withdraws from squad before match against Saudi Arabia

Kyodo

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa has pulled out of Japan’s squad for its last Group B World Cup final-round qualifier away to Saudi Arabia, the Japan Football Association said Friday.

Kagawa did not get any minutes in Thursday’s 2-0 win over Australia in Saitama. He has withdrawn from the squad for Tuesday’s game against the Saudis in Jeddah to work on “improving his physical condition,” the JFA said in a news release.

Kagawa has not put in a full 90-minute shift for Dortmund this season since returning from injury after he dislocated his left shoulder in Japan’s 1-1 draw in a friendly against Syria in Tokyo in June.

Japan’s win against Asian champion Australia secured qualification for the finals next year in Russia, effectively making the game for it against the Saudis a dead rubber.