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Thailand find unlikely support from 'cave boys' ahead of Asian Cup opener against India

The Thai cave rescue boys (L-R): Adul, Titan, Ek (coach) and Tee
The Thai cave rescue boys (L-R): Adul, Titan, Ek (coach) and Tee

Ahead of their Asian Cup opening game against India on Sunday, Thailand will have a unique set of champion footballers supporting them from the stands.

The Wild Boars football team, whose rescue from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave last year captured the imagination of the world, will be at the Al Nahyan Stadium supporting their country, as special guests of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). On Saturday, three of them were taken on a guided tour of the stadium and spoke to the press while being...

 By John Duerden

Thai players' success should provide boost for J League throughout Asia

Thai stars Teerasil Dangda, Teerathon Bunmathan and Chanathip Songkrasin out on loan to the J-League for the 2018 season.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Consadole Sapporo is not usually the big game in Japan, but on Saturday it gave J League bosses the start to the season they had been dreaming of. Almost half an hour into his debut for Hiroshima, Teerasil Dangda was left alone in the area and the striker headed home the only goal of the game from Yoshifumi Kashiwa's cross.

The goal was scored by perhaps the second biggest name in Thai football. The biggest belongs to Chanathip Songkrasin, who was on the same pitch as part...

 By Paul Murphy

Jay Bothroyd goals keep Chanathip Songkrasin's Consadole in J.League


Just two weeks after a worrying collapse on the training ground, former England striker Jay Bothroyd struck the two goals that guaranteed Consadole Sapporo's survival in the J.League.

Bothroyd suffered a blackout during a training session that caused great concern among teammates and saw him rushed to hospital. But the ex-Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers striker was soon released and explained that it was "nothing serious".

The 35-year-old put his health problems firmly to one side as...

 By Paul Murphy

Ex-England striker Jay Bothroyd suffers blackout on Japan pitch


Former England International striker Jay Bothroyd is recovering in hospital in Japan after collapsing and suffering a blackout while training with J.League side Consadole Sapporo on Saturday.

Bothroyd, 35, is a teammate of Thailand international Chanathip Songkrasin in Sapporo, and the news of the ex-Cardiff City forward was first reported by Thai media outlet Siam Sport.

Thirty minutes into the side's training session, Bothroyd experienced convulsions, and required 10 minutes of intensive...

 By Jason Dasey

Australia face World Cup playoffs despite Leckie winner vs. Thailand

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australia are headed for a two-legged playoff with Syria, despite a 2-1 victory over Thailand in Melbourne in 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying.

Second-half goals from Tomi Juric and Mathew Leckie gave the Socceroos a narrow win before Saudi Arabia defeated Japan 1-0 in a later match on Tuesday to take the final automatic spot for Russia from Group A.

The Aussies must now beat the Syrians before facing another two-legged playoff against the fourth-placed CONCACAF team to advance...

 By Jason Dasey

World Cup qualification will decide legacy of Ange Postecoglou

Japan qualified for their sixth straight World Cup following their 2-0 win over Australia.

MELBOURNE -- The post-Asian Cup honeymoon period is well and truly over for Ange Postecoglou. Two and a half years after helping Australia win a first-ever major football trophy, their coach is facing the biggest challenge of his tenure, and fending off fierce critics, including ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.

A man known for his tactics and systems needs to get things exactly right if the Socceroos are to avoid the lottery of the playoffs to make it Russia 2018 in the wake of last...