• Kyodo


Cerezo Osaka striker Kenyu Sugimoto has pulled out of Japan’s squad for the upcoming E-1 Football Championship due to injury, the Japan Football Association said Wednesday.

Sugimoto, the second-top scorer in the J. League top flight this season with 22 goals, has withdrawn with a left rib injury and a sore left ankle. The JFA said it would not be calling up a replacement.

Sugimoto made his Japan debut in the team’s final 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Saudi Arabia in September and has played in every game since then.

Japan faces North Korea on Saturday in its first match of the E-1 Football Championship (formerly the East Asian Cup).

Vahid Halilhodzic’s men then play China on Dec. 12 before wrapping up the tournament against South Korea on Dec. 16.

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