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 By Jason Dasey

Thailand to 'go for win', World Cup pressure is Australia - Messi J

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts assess Chanathip Songkrasin's move to the J-League and what to expect moving forward.

MELBOURNE -- Southeast Asian champions Thailand will look to take advantage of an Australia team carrying the burden of expectation of trying to qualify for a fourth successive World Cup, according to playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin.

The diminutive midfielder, nicknamed "Messi J," created havoc when the two nations met in Bangkok last November, with the Socceroos lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw.

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup champions go into Tuesday's final third-round qualifier in Melbourne needing a...

 By John Duerden

Louis van Gaal targeted by Lukas Podolski's Vissel Kobe - reports

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Dez Corkhill discuss their early impressions of Lukas Podolski at Japanese side, Vissel Kobe.
Lukas Podolski struck twice on his J-League debut as Vissel Kobe eased to victory over Omiya Ardija.

Vissel Kobe have put former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal at the top of their shortlist as the ambitious J.League club seek a new coach, according to reports in Tokyo.

Kobe, who signed ex-Germany international Lukas Podolski in June, fired coach Nelsinho on Monday. The Brazilian has been in charge since 2015, but despite high hopes ahead of the current campaign, the Kansai club suffered a third consecutive defeat at the weekend to fall to 11th place in the 18-team league.

Taken over by Japanese...

Chapecoense fall to Japan's Urawa Reds after late penalty decision

Chapecoense complain to the referee after he awarded a late penalty.

Yuki Abe scored a penalty with two minutes left to give J-League side Urawa Reds a 1-0 victory over Brazil's Chapecoense in the Suruga Bank Championship on Tuesday.

Referee Kim Jong Hyeok awarded the spot-kick after judging that Chapecoense captain Grolli took down Zlatan Ljubijankic.

Chapecoense protested the call and Grolli said after the match that he did not foul Ljubijankic.

Chapecoense were playing its first competitive match overseas since all but three of their players were killed in a plane...

 By John Duerden

Lukas Podolski shines for Vissel Kobe, helps J.League's global brand

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Dez Corkhill discuss their early impressions of Lukas Podolski at Japanese side, Vissel Kobe.
Lukas Podolski struck twice on his J-League debut as Vissel Kobe eased to victory over Omiya Ardija.

Lukas Podolski has started his Japanese career with a bang. If the German forward continues in the same vein, the J.League is going to have its biggest star since its heady heyday of the 1990s.

With the Chinese Super League hogging the global headlines with its world-famous recruits, Podoski hit back for Japan on his debut last weekend.

Fans had been waiting for months for the ex-FC Koln junior to arrive, and it was worth it. As he finally turned out for Vissel Kobe, he scored twice, with both goals...