Football: Mitoma in, Furuhashi left out of Japan's Asian Cup squad

Injured Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma was named to Japan's Asian Cup squad on Monday, but Celtic goal machine Kyogo Furuhashi was omitted along with World Cup team members Daichi Kamada and Ao Tanaka.

Mainstays, including Liverpool's Wataru Endo, Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu and Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo, also headline the 26-man squad aiming for a record fifth Asian title at the Jan. 12 to Feb. 10 football tournament in Qatar.

Mitoma's fitness was in doubt after he was sidelined by a left ankle injury during Brighton's 1-1 draw away to English Premier League opponents Crystal Palace on Dec. 21, but Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu expects the attacking sparkplug to take part.

"I don't know if he will be ready for the first match, but he is recovering well, and I expect him to be available at an early stage," Moriyasu said.

Furuhashi will be left wondering what more he can do to convince the Japan boss after once again missing out on selection.

The Celtic star's omission from Japan's squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was headline material, but he appeared to be back in the national team picture after a 2022-23 season in which he won the Scottish Premiership's golden boot and player of the year award.

Fortuna Dusseldorf midfielder Tanaka's non-selection also comes as a surprise after his contribution at the World Cup, where he memorably scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Spain that secured Japan's passage to the knockout stage.

Kamada moved from Eintracht Frankfurt to Italy's Lazio last summer and is still looking to solidify his place midway through his first season with the Serie A side.

Among Japan's domestic contingent, Kashima Antlers midfielder Kaishu Sano and Kashiwa Reysol striker Mao Hosoya will make their first trip to a major tournament with the senior national team.

China was originally selected to host this edition of the Asian Cup, which had been scheduled to kick off in June 2023, but relinquished its hosting rights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Japan squad:

Goalkeepers: Daiya Maekawa (Vissel Kobe), Zion Suzuki (Sint-Truiden), Taishi Brandon Nozawa (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Shogo Taniguchi (Al-Rayyan), Ko Itakura (Borussia Monchengladbach), Tsuyoshi Watanabe (Gent), Yuta Nakayama (Huddersfield Town), Koki Machida (Union SG), Seiya Maikuma (Cerezo Osaka), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart), Yukinari Sugawara (AZ Alkmaar)

Midfielders/Forwards: Wataru Endo (Liverpool), Takuma Asano (Bochum), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting Lisbon), Daizen Maeda (Celtic), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), Keito Nakamura, Junya Ito (Reims), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad), Takumi Minamino (Monaco), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Reo Hatate (Celtic), Ayase Ueda (Feyenoord), Kaishu Sano (Kashima Antlers), Mao Hosoya (Kashiwa Reysol)


© Kyodo News