Soccer: Asano, Itakura eye World Cup debuts after overcoming injuries


After racing to be fit in time for the World Cup in Qatar, attacker Takuma Asano and defender Ko Itakura went through their paces with the Japan squad in preparation for Thursday's final friendly warm-up against Canada. Both were in doubt after suffering similar injuries of the medial collateral knee ligament while playing for their German Bundesliga clubs in September, but now look forward to making their World Cup debuts. The clash with Canada in Dubai could provide important match practice for the pair before Hajime Moriyasu's men kick off their Group E campaign against heavyweights Germany...

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