The J. League is taking another step toward conforming to international standards with a plan to introduce the away goal rule for the League Cup and promotion/relegation playoffs.
Soccer sources said Thursday the league is expected to finalize the plan later this month and start using the away goal rule next year in the knockout stage of the Nabisco Cup and the playoff.
The shift comes at a time when Japanese soccer fans are becoming more familiar with the European Champions League and other overseas competitions, where away goals count as double in the event of an aggregate draw in a two-legged tie.
This year, the J. League switched to a one-stage system from the two-stage format that had been in place since its inauguration in 1993, except for the 1996 season when the championship was competed for in one stage.
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