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Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004

Zico calls up Nagata

Japan coach Zico has called up Kashiwa Reysol defender Mitsuru Nagata for Thursday's home friendly with Germany to fill the gap in his backline, the Japan Football Association said Tuesday.

News photo
Juergen Klinsmann, coach of Germany, speaks at a news conference in Yokohama. Germany will take on Japan in a friendly international on Thursday.

Nagata earned the call-up after Gamba Osaka defender Tsuneyasu Miyamoto picked up a hamstring injury and Yokohama F. Marinos defender Naoki Matsuda pulled out with fitness problems days before the match at International Stadium Yokohama.

Emerson banned

The J. League on Tuesday suspended Urawa Reds striker Emerson for two games after he was sent off for violent conduct in the second leg of the J. League Championship on Saturday.

Emerson received his marching orders in the final minutes of extra time in the match in Saitama, for kicking Yokohama F. Marinos defender Ryuji Kawai in the face and body.

The league's disciplinary action will keep the Brazilian out of Wednesday's clash between Urawa and second-division side Shonan Bellmare in Okayama in the fifth round of the Emperor's Cup.

Emerson will also miss an Emperor's Cup quarterfinal match on Sunday, if Urawa advances, or the following game sanctioned by the Japan Football Association.

Second-stage winner Urawa missed out on a first J. League championship on penalties after the two-leg championship ended with a 1-1 draw on aggregate.

First-stage winner Yokohama was crowned the J. League champion for the second straight year.

Maezono departs

Former Japan midfielder Masakiyo Maezono has left Incheon United of South Korea's K-League at the expiration of his contract, his management office said Tuesday.

Maezono played 12 league and 10 cup matches and scored one goal in his second season in South Korea, which included a lengthy layoff caused by a broken foot he sustained in July.

He returned to Japan on Monday and is looking for a new club to play for.

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