Kashiwagi adapting to substitute’s impact role for Japan

Kashiwagi adapting to substitute’s impact role for Japan

Urawa Reds playmaker Yosuke Kashiwagi relished his impact role during his return to international action during Japan’s 1-1 draw with Iran on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old replaced Kashima Antlers midfielder Gaku Shibasaki in the 71st minute in what was his first Samurai Blue appearance since a friendly win over Iceland in February 2012.

Though he admitted he had to adapt to coming off the bench, Kashiwagi was still pleased with his contributions and is hoping to build on his first outing under Vahid Halilhodzic.

“I’m not used to coming on as a substitute but I feel like I was able to contribute to the attack,” Kashiwagi told reporters after the match. 

“[Iran’s players] were tired and that opened up some space that I was able to use, but I could have created some more chances.

“My role was to support [Hiroshi] Kiyotake and [Shinji] Okazaki by collecting second balls and helping to make combination plays.”

Kashiwagi is expected to join his Reds team-mates in time for their showdown with rivals Gamba Osaka on matchday 14 of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League second stage this Saturday.

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