Keisuke Honda lifted the Azerbaijan Premier League championship trophy Wednesday after his club Neftchi Baku wrapped up the title race on the final day of the season with a 1-0 win against runner-up Qarabag.
After starting in midfield, the 34-year-old former Japan playmaker headed to the bench in the 69th minute at Baku’s Bakcell Arena with the match still scoreless.
Substitute Ahmed Ahmedov netted in the 90th minute to clinch the title for Neftchi, which finished the campaign two points ahead of Qarabag.
Honda signed with Neftchi in March, making Azerbaijan the seventh foreign country where he has played professionally.
Among other Japanese in action overseas, likely Olympic team center-back Ko Itakura played the full 90 minutes for Groningen in a 1-0 loss to Utrecht in the semifinals of the Dutch first division’s Europa League qualification playoffs.
In the Portuguese top flight, Japan midfielder Hidemasa Morita netted his second goal of the season for Santa Clara in a 4-0 win over Farense.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.