Japan at the 2018 World Cup: Scores, schedule, complete squad, TV and live stream, players to watch

The 2018 World Cup is underway. CBS Sports will have you covered for each game, all the important news and more, as well as profiles of all of the teams.

Japan was always an underdog in its match against Belgium, but not like this. After a scoreless first half, Japan mounted a strong attack in the second to go up 2-0 on the Red Devils. However, an epic collapse and Belgium counter ended in a Nacer Chadli buzzer-beater, and the Blue Samurai were sent home in the most devastating way possible.

Now, it will be back to square one for this aging national team looking to make it back in 2022.

Competition history

World Cup appearances: Six
Best finish: Round of 16 (3X)
Last World Cup: 2014


Tuesday, June 19: Japan 2, Colombia 1
Sunday, June 24: Japan 2, Senegal 2 
Thursday, June 28: Poland 1, Japan 0

Monday, July 2: Belgium 3, Japan 2 in round of 16


Japan has some sneaky good talent, with Keisuke Hondra the veteran leader.  Getty Images

Provisional squad (will be trimmed to 23 for the World Cup):  

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz). Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol).

Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino, Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji, Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers).

Midfielders: Yosuke Ideguchi (Leonesa),  Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi, Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale), Kento Misao (Kashima Antlers).

Forwards: Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz), Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Takuma Asano (Stuttgart).

Best Player

Shinji Kagawa. The Borussia Dortmund man joins a fine midfield that also features Keisuke Honda and Makoto Hasebe. Kagawa is a magician with the ball at his feet and will be the creator in the middle of the park. He's somebody who knows what it takes to excel 

Player to watch

Shinji Okazaki. The Leicester City striker has 50 goals for the national team, but his best years are probabably behind him. He'll still likely start up top though, and he can provide the scoring touch needed to do some damange. He's a quality player that has the ability to score some marvelous goals.

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CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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