SYDNEY - Two Japan players have been nominated for this year's Asian Player of the Year award after their national side was surprisingly overlooked for the final nominations for the team of the year award.
Kengo Nakamura and Yasuhito Endo were both included on the shortlist of the five nominees for the region's most prestigious individual award, to be announced in Kuala Lumpur next Tuesday.
They were joined by Bahrain's Sayed Mohamed Adnan, Iran's Hadi Aghily and Syria's Firas Al Khatib.
Despite being the first team to qualify for next year's World Cup in South Africa, Japan did not make the final cut for the men's team of the year.
Australia, South Korea and North Korea, who all also qualified for the World Cup, were the three final nominations.