Leeds United's Yosuke Ideguchi handed Japan chance in World Cup warm-up

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Leeds United midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi stepped off the bench for Japan during their 2-0 World Cup warm-up defeat to Ghana on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old was handed a 14 minute cameo by new boss Akira Nishino as he replaced defender Makoto Hasebe in the 76th minute during the loss to the Black Stars in Yokohama.

Yosuke Ideguchi speaks to Japan coach Akira Nishino.

Yosuke Ideguchi speaks to Japan coach Akira Nishino.

Despite not seeing any first-team action for Cultural Leonesa since February, where he has spent the second half of the campaign on loan from Leeds United, Ideguchi was handed a lifeline after being included in the preliminary 35-man squad.

Ideguchi has made just one start and four substitute appearances in his 111 minutes of action this year for the Spanish side but remains hopeful of making the final cut for Nishino's squad which will be submitted on Thursday ahead of the tournament in Russia this summer.

Speaking in April, Ideguchi revealed that his goal was to achieve his dream of playing in Europe despite risking his World Cup place: "My goal is not just the World Cup, the most important thing is to play abroad until I retire.

"I was asked this [about why he moved] many times, but last year I fought with the world's top countries such as Brazil and Belgium, and I felt the difference between playing with adults and children.

"It was great that I thought that I could grow in the J League but when I returned, if I'm honest, play was odd, I couldn't feel like I could do my best in Japan after I had experienced that level.

"Honestly, when I first became a professional, even though I played in the J League, there were parts of me that felt good with playing in Japan for a long time, but after I came back [from international duty] I didn't feel like that.

"That's when I knew I had to go abroad."

Ideguchi appeared 30 times for Gamba Osaka scoring four goals before sealing a move to West Yorkshire in January.