Soccer: Japan confident despite injury absence of key defensive pair


Japan will head into Thursday's World Cup qualifier against China with confidence, despite the regular center-half pairing of captain Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu being sidelined through injury, manager Hajime Moriyasu said. Sampdoria's Yoshida was not picked for the clash at Saitama Stadium, while Arsenal's Tomiyasu withdrew after hurting his hamstring in his club's League Cup loss to Liverpool last week, but Moriyasu said Wednesday the other center-backs in the squad were up to the task. Nagoya Grampus' Shinnosuke Nakatani has been called up to replace Tomiyasu, while Moriyasu also has...

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