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Defensive midfielder Wataru Endo on Friday continued his bid to return to the Japan starting lineup after sitting out its opening Asian Cup clash in the United Arab Emirates following a bout of illness.

The 25-year-old was on the bench for Japan’s 3-2 win over Group F opponent Turkmenistan on Wednesday after coming down with a fever on the day of its departure for the tournament.

At Friday’s practice, two days before Japan faces Oman, Endo said, “It’s important for everyone to be ready. I need to think about what kind of impact I can make upon entering a match.”

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