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East Asia Domestic Wrap: Yokohoma end 15-year title drought

Kuala Lumpur: Yokohama F. Marinos lifted the J.League championship for the first time since 2004 after coach Ange Postecoglou helmed the club to a 3-0 win over title-rivals FC Tokyo on Saturday that concluded the domestic season in fine style.

Elsewhere, Shanghai Shenhua secured their fifth Chinese FA Cup title and a place at the 2020 AFC Champions League, while there were also league action in Hong Kong, so join as we review all the action across East Asia.

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Japan: Marinos and Postecoglou make history

Yokohama F. Marinos emphatically claimed the J.League title and returned to the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2014 after goals from Theerathon Bunmathan, Erik Lima and Keita Endo ensured a comprehensive victory over FC Tokyo.

The capital city club would have needed to defeat Postecoglou's side by four goals to leapfrog them into top spot on the final day of the J.League season, but their hosts ensured there was little chance of that despite having goalkeeper Park Iru-gyu sent off.

Yokoham's triumph sees Postecoglou become the first Australian coach to win the J.League in just his second season at the club.

Elsewhere, 2018 AFC Champions League winners Kashima Antlers ensured a third place finish and a return to the Continental competition after seeing off Nagoya Grampus 1-0.

The Emperor's Cup will determine Japan's fourth representative in the 2020 AFC Champions League. Vissel Kobe, Shimizu S-Pulse, V-Varen Nagasaki and Kashima are to take part in the semi-finals on December 21, with the final on January 1, 2020.

China PR: Shenhua bounce back to lift CFA Cup

After a forgettable league season that saw the side finish 13th, just nine points off the relegation positions, Shanghai Shenhua capped off their 2019 in the best possible way with victory in the FA Cup.

A goal down from the first leg against Shandong Luneng, who had finished their Chinese Super League campaign in fifth, Shenhua put on a brilliant second half display in front of their passionate fans at Hongkou Stadium.

Kim Shin-wook levelled the tie on the hour mark with a smart finish inside the penalty area, before former AC Milan star Stephan Al Shaarawy hit Shandong on the counter with nine minutes remaining. Alexander N'Doumbou capped off an extraordinary night for Choi Kang-hee's men with a stunning solo effort from distance on the 83rd minute.

The result sees Shenhua join CSL champions Guangzhou Evergrande, runners-up Beijing FC and third placed Shanghai SIPG in December 10's draw for AFC Champions League 2020.

Hong Kong: Sartori stars as R&F open three-point lead

With the tie between Lee Man and Kitchee SC postponed, there was just one fixture in the Hong Kong Premier League on the weekend, but it was a significant one as league leaders R&F took on newly promoted Happy Valley.

Former Woofo Tai Po star Igor Sartori opened the scoring on 10 minutes and the Brazilian repeated his efforts in stoppage time as the hosts ran out 2-0 winners.

The result at Yanzigang Stadium sees R&F open up a three point lead at the top above Eastern SC, although Lee Man will have a chance to join them on 16 points should they win their game in hand.


Photo: Yokohama F. Marinos

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