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 By Paul Murphy

FC Tokyo starlet Jakkit Wachpirom becomes first Thai to score in J.League

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts evaluate Australia's World Cup group and assess whether they or any other Asian teams can progress.
 

FC Tokyo Under-23 winger Jakkit Wachpirom has made history as the first Thai to score in the J.League, a feat that has so far eluded his more celebrated compatriot Chanathip Songkrasin.

Jakkit, on loan at the J3 club from Bangkok United, side footed home from an angle in the first minute of Sunday's 2-1 victory over Cerezo Osaka U23.

For the club, it meant a winning end to a season in which they finish in 11th spot, and for Jakkit it was the latest high point in what has been a successful...

 By John Duerden

J.League seeks to wrestle back spotlight from Chinese Super League

Kashima Antlers vs. FC Tokyo
Kashima Antlers started their 2017 campaign with a defeat to FC Tokyo at the weekend.

Japan's J.League kicked off its 2017 season on Saturday with a typical demonstration of unpredictability with only one of the top four from last year picking up three points. Kashima Antlers, 2016 champs, scored twice against Real Madrid in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup in December but failed to do so at home to FC Tokyo at the weekend.

The curtain-raising did not get that much attention outside the country. At the moment, it may not be an exaggeration to say that the Chinese Super League...

FC Tokyo open AFC Champions League knockout stage with win

FC Tokyo's Kota Mizunuma celebrates his side's first goal during their Champions League win on Tuesday.

Kota Mizunuma scored twice as FC Tokyo opened the Round of 16 in the Asian Champions League with a 2-1 win over Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday.

Mizunuma opened the scoring with a free kick just before half-time and added his second with a well-timed volley in the 65th minute after striker Wu Lei had equalised for the Chinese Super League club.

Leonardo scored a vital away goal for Jeonbuk, helping the K-League club hold Melbourne Victory to a 1-1 draw and a slender advantage in the return leg next week...

Urawa Red Diamonds reach Asian Champions League round of 16

SYDNEY -- Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds advanced to the round of 16 of the Asian Champions League after playing out a goalless draw against Sydney FC on Wednesday.

The draw eliminated defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande and Pohang Steelers as Urawa secured at least second place behind Group H leader Sydney FC.

Urawa, the 2007 champions, will be playing in the round of 16 for the first time since reaching for the 2008 semifinals.

FC Seoul defeated Buriram United 2-1 for their fourth victory...

'Japanese Messi' Takefusa Kubo signs for FC Tokyo from Barcelona

Takefusa Kubo has been tipped for a bright future.

TOKYO -- Japanese club FC Tokyo have signed 13-year-old prospect Takefusa Kubo from Barcelona.

Kubo, who earned the nickname the 'Japanese Messi', signed with Barcelona in 2011 to train at La Masia academy but FIFA ruled that the Spanish club violated international transfer regulations over the signing of young players, forcing the teenager to return home.

After being handed a 14-month transfer ban, Barcelona are now unable to recruit any new players until the 2016 January window while Kubo, who...