TOKYO - Hiroshima defender Tomoaki Makino is poised to make a hair-raising debut for Japan against Chile on Wednesday after reporting for duty with a red-dyed Mohican. The 22-year-old shocked team mates and Japan coach Takeshi Okada with his spiky hairdo on the eve of his country's Kirin Cup friendly in Osaka. "The red signifies passion and Japan's rising sun flag," Makino told Tuesday's Japanese media, adding that it had taken eight hours to create his new look. Makino is likely to get his chance with Brazilian-born defender Tulio still suffering from a hamstring injury. "Maybe he's trying to get noticed by getting a Mohican," Okada smiled. "I had no idea he would go that far. Hopefully he will make a similar impression on the pitch." Celtic playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura arrived in Japan on Tuesday but will be rested for the Chile game and is expected to join his international team mates later in the week. Japan play Belgium in Tokyo on Sunday in the final game of the three-team Kirin Cup before flying to Uzbekistan for a World Cup qualifier. Victory in that match would book their berth in next year's World Cup in South Africa.
26 May 2009
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