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Midfielder Eustaquio to miss Canada soccer friendly in Japan

Canada Gold Cup Stephen Eustaquio - The Canadian Press

Canada will be without influential midfielder Stephen Eustaquio when it takes on Japan in an international soccer friendly on Friday in Niigata.

Canada Soccer said the 26-year-old from Leamington, Ont., was unavailable through injury. It did not provide further details.

Eustaquio, who plays his club football in Portugal with FC Porto, has won 32 caps for Canada including 29 starts. He has three goals and four assists.

Canada, ranked 44th in the world, takes on No. 19 Japan at Denka Big Swan Stadium.

Both teams are using the friendly to prepare for upcoming competitive matches.

Canada, under interim coach Mauro Biello, is readying for crucial November matches in the 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League which serve as the qualifier for CONCACAF teams participating in next year's Copa America.

Japan is gearing up for the start of its 2026 World Cup qualifying in November as well as the Asian Cup in January.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 11, 2023