Japan caretaker coach names squad for friendlies

TOKYO - Caretaker coach Hiromi Hara on Friday named Japan's squad for friendlies against Paraguay and Guatemala next month as the botched search for a manager drags on.

Ticket sales have also been disappointing for the games - against Paraguay in Yokohama on September 4 and particularly for the September 7 in Osaka for which only 15,000 have been sold.

Hara has been criticised in his role as technical director for the Japan Football Association (JFA) for failing to tie up a contract with a high-profile successor to Takeshi Okada.

However, the 51-year-old picked a strong squad underpinned with eight European-based players, including midfielders Keisuke Honda and Makoto Hasebe, who were instrumental in Japan's run to the last 16 of this year's World Cup in South Africa.

Paraguay knocked Japan out of the World Cup on penalties in the last 16.

"We have been informed at least half of the Paraguay team will come, including (Borussia Dortmund's Lucas) Barrios and (Manchester City's Roque) Santa Cruz," Hara told reporters.

"It would have been good to have the new coach in place but unfortunately it hasn't worked out like that."


Goalkeepers: Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya), Eiji Kawashima (Lierse SK)

Defenders: Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama), Tulio (Nagoya), Yuichi Komano (Iwata), Daiki Iwamasa (Kashima), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama), Yuto Nagatomo (Cesena), Tomoaki Makino (Hiroshima), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke 04)

Midfielders: Hideo Hashimoto (Gamba Osaka), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki), Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Jungo Fujimoto (Shimizu), Hajime Hosogai (Urawa), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Takashi Inui (Cerezo Osaka), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania)

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