England FA Cup

Japan coach Halilhodzic ready to give young players a chance

While established players like Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda should play a big role for Japan at the World Cup, coach Vahid Halilhodzic has indicated that many spots remain open and it's time for the next generation to step up.

Halilhodzic named a 26-man roster for friendlies against Mali on March 23 and Ukraine on March 27 and there were a few surprises.

In Russia, Japan has been drawn in a group with Poland, Colombia and Senegal. Despite six straight World Cup appearances, Japan has never advanced beyond the second round.