Honda, Kagawa in Japan squad for NZ friendly
27 February 2014, 14:33
Tokyo - Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni added AC Milan playmaker Keisuke Honda and Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa to his squad on Thursday for next month's World Cup warmup match against New Zealand in Tokyo.
Injuries to captain Makoto Hasebe and Schalke's Atsuto Uchida prompted Zaccheroni to recall Jubilo Iwata defender Yuichi Komano and Sanfrecce Hiroshima's Toshihiro Aoyama in the 23-member squad for the March 5 encounter.
Kashiwa Reysol striker Masato Kudo also returned to the side for Japan's last match at the National Stadium which would be rebuilt for the 2020 Olympic Games, according to Kyodo news agency.
Japan are the lowest-ranked side drawn in Group C for the World Cup in Brazil which also has Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia.
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
Defenders: Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart)
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Hajime Hosogai (Hertha Berlin), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F Marinos), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Masato Kudo (Kashiwa Reysol), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich)