The Socceroos have received a boost ahead the Asian Cup final with Japan striker Shinji Kagawa ruled out of the match due to a foot injury.
Kugawa hurt his right foot in Japan’s semi-final win over South Korea and the Japan Football Association announced on Wednesday he had “fractured his right fifth metatarsus” and was out indefinitely.
The 21-year-old is a relatively new face in coach Alberto Zaccheroni’s squad but has started every match at the Asian Cup, scoring twice in Japan’s 3-2 quarter-final victory over hosts Qatar.
Kagawa plays for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and has proved somewhat of a revelation, netting eight goals in his debut season.
Japan at least have defender Maya Yoshida back available for selection after a red card in the win over Qatar saw him suspended for Tuesday’s semi-final win over South Korea.
Buford Balony says: First we beat them in the war, now the Asian cup. Go Aussies.