Ex-Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou’s Yokohama F Marinos have narrowly avoided a relegation playoff to remain in Japan’s top flight.
Yokohama lost 2-1 at home to Cerezo Osaka on the final day of the J.League season, but other results went their way as they finished 12th in the 18-team competition.
They finished on 41 points with four other teams, including 16th-placed Jubilo Iwata who will face Yokohama FC or Tokyo Verdy for the chance to stay in the top division next season.
In his first year in charge, after he quit as Australian national team boss in November 2017, Postecoglou’s attacking style resulted in Yokohama being the joint second-highest goal-scoring team but they had the third worst defensive record.
Yokohama’s superior goals differential had them finish above Shonan Bellmare, Sagan Tosu, Nagoya Grampus Eight and Jubilo.
Bottom side V-Varen Nagasaki and Kashiwa Reysol were already condemned to the second tier.
Yokohama F Marinos have never been relegated from the J.League.