Japan called up forward Shuto Machino for the World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday, with the Shonan Bellmare player taking the place of injured Huddersfield defender Yuta Nakayama.

The 23-year-old Machino scored 13 goals to place second in the J-League first division's top-scorer list this term, bagging four in his last three games to steer Shonan clear of relegation.

Japan's  Shuto Machino (2nd from R) scores against South Korea during the second half of their East Asian Football Federation E-1 Championship match on July 27, 2022, at Toyota Stadium in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Shuto Machino. (Photo courtesy of JFA)(Photo use permitted only for stories related to the World Cup)(Kyodo)

"I'm carrying a sense of pride and responsibility in getting the chance to represent and fight for Japan in Qatar," Machino said after receiving the news.

Machino was first called up to the national team by manager Hajime Moriyasu in July at the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Championship, where he scored three goals in as many games.

Machino also appeared in the second half of Japan's 2-0 friendly win over the United States on Sept. 23 in Germany.

Ahead of his departure for Qatar on Monday night, Moriyasu said Nakayama's replacement would not necessarily be a defender.

Nakayama was ruled out for the season with an Achilles tendon injury sustained on Wednesday during Huddersfield's 2-0 home loss to Sunderland in the English second-tier Championship.

Vissel Kobe forward Yuya Osako, who was surprisingly omitted from the initial 26-man squad, said after Saturday's final game of the J-League season that he declined to be considered among backup squad members.

Japan will play Germany, Costa Rica and Spain in Group E at the World Cup.

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