Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has been making his mark in Japan.  Picture: David Moir/AAP
Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has been making his mark in Japan. Picture: David Moir/AAP

Postecoglou on the brink of history in Japan

RENOWNED Australian manager Ange Postecoglou is on the brink of history in Japan, with his J-League side Yokohama F Marinos one match from claiming the league title.

He would become the first Australian manager to win the prestigious competition.

Yokohama claimed a resounding 4-1 victory over fourth-placed Kawasaki Frontale (away, no less), while second-placed FC Tokyo suffered a disappointing 1-1 draw with 13th placed Urawa Red Diamonds on Saturday.

With just one match remaining, Yokohama lead Tokyo by three points. But in a fateful coincidence, the two face off in the final clash of the season.

And with Ange's side seven goals in front on goal difference, it means Postecoglou's men only need to avoid a four-goal defeat (or worse) to claim the crown in front of their home fans.

The former Socceroos boss and two-time A-League winner has turned the five-time champions Yokohama around in his two seasons in charge.

Due to goal difference he'll have to wait for it to be official but unless they lose 4-0 at home next week Ange Postecoglou will lead Yokohama to the J-League title in just his second season in charge.

An Australian Football achievement for the ages is imminent.

After a dire start to last season had a relegation battle firmly in the picture, the team improved to finish 12th in the league and also made the final of the J-League Cup.

Despite a heavily restricted transfer budget, Postecoglou managed to turn his side into title challengers as they chase a first league crown since 2004.

Saturday's crushing win over Kawasaki was a sixth-straight victory for Postecoglou's side, who are now undefeated in 10 games.

He has become something of a cult sensation in Yokohama, and has been duly rewarded with a contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of next season.

"No Australian coach has done this. This is what we need," Former Socceroo Robbie Slater said recently on the Fox Football Podcast.

"We've had players do it, playing at great levels (overseas), but never a coach.

"What he's doing is actually amazing."

News Corp Australia


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