Japanese teams struggling in AFC Champions League

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2014 at 2:50 am •  Published: March 17, 2014

SEOUL (AP) — Japan's football league is generally regarded as the best in Asia, but as its clubs struggle to prove their superiority against regional rivals in the Asian Champions League, that title could be under threat.

In group stage matches played last week, J-League teams lost to Chinese, Korean and Australian opponents to continue a dismal start that has seen the country's four representatives record a single victory out of a combined total of eight games.

Japan's troubles are not confined to this year. It's been six years since Japan last produced an AFC Champions League winner, and since 2010, just two of the country's 16 teams have made it as far as the quarterfinal stage, compared to nine from South Korea.