ABU DHABI – Shoya Nakajima and Hidemasa Morita have pulled out of Japan’s Asian Cup squad with leg injuries and are being replaced by Takashi Inui and Tsukasa Shiotani, the Japan Football Association announced Saturday.
Nakajima, who plays for Portuguese club Portimonense, has been used as an attacking midfielder by head coach Hajime Moriyasu since after last summer’s World Cup. His club has reported that he injured his right calf muscle in a recent game.
Morita, who plays for Kawasaki Frontale, hurt his right thigh in practice on Friday.
Inui suits up for Spain’s Real Betis, while Shiotani plays in the United Arab Emirates for El Ain.
Japan begins its quest for a fifth straight Asia Cup crown on Jan. 13 against Oman.