Ogasawara named among Japan reserves

TOKYO - Japan offered snubbed midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara a crumb of comfort on Wednesday by naming him among seven standby players for the World Cup.

Coach Takeshi Okada had left the J-League player of the year out of his final 23-man squad earlier this week amid reports of a bust-up between the pair.

Ogasawara, who took part at the 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments, is unlikely to see Okada's offer as an olive branch after a typically blunt response to his initial omission.

"No, I was taking a nap," he said when asked if he had watched Monday's squad announcement on television.

German-bound midfielder Shinji Kagawa was also named among Japan's seven reserves for the tournament in South Africa, which kicks off on June 11.

Europe-based trio Keisuke Honda, Makoto Hasebe and Daisuke Matsui formed the basis of Okada's squad along with experienced campaigners Shunsuke Nakamura and Junichi Inamoto.

Japan, who have never won a World Cup game on foreign soil, face Cameroon, the Netherlands and Denmark in Group E.

Japan reserve list

Defenders - Yuhei Tokunaga (FC Tokyo), Tomoaki Makino (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)

Midfielders - Mitsuo Ogasawara (Kashima Antlers), Shinji Kagawa (Cerezo Osaka), Naohiro Ishikawa (FC Tokyo)

Forwards - Tatsuya Tanaka (Urawa Reds), Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata)