Antlers midfielder Shoma Doi called up to national team

Kyodo

Kashima Antlers midfielder Shoma Doi has been called up to the men’s national team for the upcoming E-1 Football Championship to replace Hiroshi Kiyotake, who has a concussion, Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic said Thursday.

Cerezo Osaka midfielder Kiyotake, who was making his return to the national side in the 23-man squad made up entirely of domestic players, sustained the injury in a collision during practice on Wednesday.

“(Kiyotake) doesn’t have a big problem, but I was told by the medical staff that it’s better for him to rest for 10 days,” Halilhodzic said at a press conference in Tokyo.

“There are challenges but I would like to try to win,” said Halilhodzic, who also expressed delight at reuniting with old friend and China coach Marcello Lippi.

, formerly known as the East Asian Cup.

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