infoBets - injury-hit Japan primed to qualify for Rio - 22 March 2013
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injury-hit Japan primed to qualify for Rio

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Japan's Shunsuke Nakamura is hoping the loss of two key players will not hinder their progress to the 2014 World Cup in Rio.
Japan face Canada in an international friendly in Doha on Friday, before travelling to a crucial World Cup qualifier in Jordan on Tuesday, with a win securing their passage to next year's finals.

Stars Yuto Nagatomo and Keisuke Honda will both be absent from the matches through injury and Nakumura spoke of overcoming this hurdle to reach their goal.

"Everyone has a high motivation and we all really want to qualify this time," Nakamura said.

"Both of them (Nagatomo and Honda) have played for the national team a long time and it's a massive loss for us they are out with injury. 

"But we haven't played with the same squad all the time and we need to show our quality and be united."

Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima believes it crucial that Japan get off to a good start against Jordan.

"If we concede first, then it's going to be a tough match and I think we might need to be patient if we can't score first," Kawashima said.

"It's not going to be an easy match but qualifying for the World Cup as soon as possible means a lot to us. 

"It would be great if we fight with an ambition to make new Japanese football history."
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