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Honda confident of regaining Japan place despite Kubo's rise

Two-time World Cup star Keisuke Honda welcomes the competition from Japan teammate Yuya Kubo, vowing to recapture his place on the national team as he searches for a solution to his severe lack of playing time with AC Milan. Kubo again was Vahid Halilhodzic’s preferred choice on the right wing ...

/ Mar 20, 2017

Kagawa confident Japan can cope without Hasebe

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Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa believes Japan has enough strength in depth to cover for Makoto Hasebe if the national team captain is forced, as expected, to sit out Thursday’s World Cup qualifier away to the United Arab Emirates. Hasebe arrived in the UAE ...

/ Mar 19, 2017

Hasebe to join Japan squad despite club's injury fears

Japan captain Makoto Hasebe will join up with the national team in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday as scheduled ahead of its crunch World Cup qualifier here, despite his German club Eintracht Frankfurt saying he would soon have to undergo knee surgery. Frankfurt ...

Halilhodzic keeps spot for Honda on 25-man squad

/ Mar 16, 2017

Halilhodzic keeps spot for Honda on 25-man squad

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic has decided to keep faith in Keisuke Honda, naming the out-of-favor AC Milan attacker to his 25-man squad on Thursday for this month’s World Cup final-round qualifiers against United Arab Emirates and Thailand. Halilhodzic also threw in a few surprises ...

/ Mar 15, 2017

Japan to play Syria in World Cup tune-up

Japan will host Syria in a warm-up for its World Cup qualifier against Iraq in June, the Japan Football Association announced Wednesday. Japan will play Syria on June 7 at Ajinomoto Stadium, ahead of the June 13 qualifier also at home to Iraq. Japan ...

/ Mar 12, 2017

Japan sweats on Hasebe's fitness after post collision

A potential headache surfaced for Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic on Saturday when his captain Makoto Hasebe suffered a shin injury during Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3-0 away defeat to Bayern Munich. Hasebe suffered a gash to his left shin after colliding with the post early in ...

/ Jan 23, 2017

Japan to play June home friendly before Iraq clash

Japan will warm up for its June World Cup qualifier away to Iraq with a home friendly at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium against a-yet-to-be-determined opponent, the Japan Football Association announced Monday. The friendly, an evening kickoff, will be played June 7, six days before Vahid ...

Asia eyes extra slots in bigger World Cup

/ Jan 11, 2017

Asia eyes extra slots in bigger World Cup

The Asian Football Confederation said Wednesday that the continent deserves to be among the chief recipients of extra World Cup places following FIFA’s decision to expand the event to 48 teams. All confederations will be eager to capture as many as possible of the ...

/ Jan 9, 2017

Halilhodzic backs 48-team World Cup

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic gave his approval to expanding the World Cup from its current 32-team format to 40 or 48 teams as FIFA prepares to discuss the idea during its board meeting on Tuesday. “Soccer is steadily being played at a higher level ...