DOHA - Japan's hopes of a record fourth Asian Cup title suffered a blow on Wednesday when forward Shinji Kagawa was ruled out of the final against Australia because of a broken foot.
The Borussia Dortmund player was substituted in the 87th minute of Japan's penalty shootout victory over rivals South Korea in their semi-final on Tuesday.
The Japanese Football Association told Reuters on Wednesday that Kagawa had fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and would miss Saturday's match at the Khalifa Stadium.
The 21-year-old has been pivotal in Japan's run to the final, scoring twice in the 3-2 quarter-final win over hosts Qatar.
He has also been outstanding in his first season in Germany, scoring eight Bundesliga goals.
"Borussia is in touch with the player and he will return to Dortmund as soon as possible so we can get a precise picture of the injury," the Bundesliga leaders said in a statement.