Kevin Muscat has hailed a Yokohama F. Marinos group that “created historical past” as they claimed his first J1 League title in dramatic model on the ultimate day of the season.
Yokohama beat Vissel Kobe 3-1 on Saturday to prime the desk on 68 factors, two away from Kawasaki Frontale, who beat FC Tokyo 3-2 regardless of enjoying with 10 for many of the recreation. It’s Yokohama’s fifth title and their first since 2019, when former Socceroos boss and present Celtic mentor Ange Postecoglou triumphed.
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Muscat’s breakthrough follows a second-place end in his first season in Japan, after becoming a member of the membership in July 2021.
“I don’t know (how I really feel) in the mean time, it’s just a bit bit surreal,” Muscat advised Japanese media. “However simply actually proud. If there’s an overriding emotion, it’s pleasure – not solely within the consequence, however the way in which we performed, the way in which we gained was great and made me actually proud.
“There’s emotion, in fact, and that’s why the sport is so nice,” Muscat mentioned. “For us, personally, we’ve been specializing in creating moments, many moments, by challenges … and as we speak, the second that we created additionally created historical past. These guys will go down in historical past as one group that gained the trophy for Marinos.”
There have been Australian flags among the many Marinos supporters within the crowd and Muscat paid tribute to the followers. “To see the assist, not solely as we speak, however to see the unconditional assist that we’ve had all through the season – I hope you get pleasure from tonight, and social gathering exhausting,” he mentioned.
The title race went right down to the ultimate day after Yokohama and Kawasaki each gained within the penultimate spherical. Elber’s looping header within the twenty sixth minute gave Yokohama the lead over Vissel Kobe, earlier than Yoshinori Muto equalised simply earlier than halftime. Takuma Nishimura restored Yokohama’s lead within the 53rd minute, and 20 minutes later Teruhito Nakagawa tapped residence to seal victory and the title.
Muscat has already signed a contract extension with Yokohama for subsequent season however would certainly be in competition to develop into the following Socceroos coach had been Graham Arnold to maneuver on after the World Cup.
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The title completes Muscat’s rebound from an ill-fated stint on the helm of Belgian top-flight outfit Sint-Truiden in 2020, the place he was sacked after six months. Muscat beforehand carved out a training legacy at Melbourne Victory, profitable two A-League grand finals, a premiership and an FFA Cup earlier than quitting in Might 2019.