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11:42Aug 25th2017Sugimoto earns first Japan call-up for crucial World Cup qualifiers

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Sugimoto earns first Japan call-up for crucial World Cup qualifiers

The Japan Football Association on Thursday announced the Samurai Blue’s squad of 27 players for their upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Group B rivals Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic called up 10 J.League players, including Kashiwa Reysol goalkeeper Kosuke Nakamura, Kashima Antlers defender Naomichi Ueda and Gamba Osaka midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi. 

Cerezo Osaka striker Kenyu Sugimoto also received his first national team invitation.

Japan will host Australia on August 31 at Saitama Stadium before traveling to face Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on September 5. 

Below is the list of players called up for the fixtures in August and September:

GK:

Eiji Kawashima (FC Metz / France)
Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka)
Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)

DF:

Hiroki Sakai (Marseille / France)
Gotoku Sakai (Hamburger SV / Germany)
Yuto Nagatomo (Inter / Italy)
Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds)
Maya Yoshida (Southampton / England)
Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers)
Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers)
Genta Miura (Gamba Osaka)

MF:

Makoto Hasebe (Frankfurt / Germany)
Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)
Yosuke Ideguchi (Gamba Osaka)
Yojiro Takahagi (FC Tokyo)
Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe / Spain)
Yuki Kobayashi (Heerenveen / Netherlands)
Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund / Germany)

FW:

Keisuke Honda (Pachuca / Mexico)
Yuta Kubo (Gent / Belgium)
Takuma Asano (Stuttgart / Germany)
Genki Haraguchi (Hertha Berlin / Germany)
Takashi Inui (Eibar / Spain)
Yoshinori Muto (Maintz / Germany)
Yuya Osako (Koln / Germany)
Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City / England)
Kenyu Sugimoto (Cerezo Osaka)

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