'Jay' makes Sapporo debut

'Jay' makes Sapporo debut

Sapporo's Chanathip Songkrasin, right.
Sapporo's Chanathip Songkrasin, right.

Thailand midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin played his first competitive match for Japanese club Consadole Sapporo in the Levain Cup yesterday.

Unfortunately, his team lost 1-0 at Cerezo Osaka and were eliminated with a 3-0 aggregate defeat.

The Thai, who is dubbed "Messi Jay", was sent on at the start of the second half after Takaki Fukumitsu gave the home team the lead.

The 23-year-old had a good game creating a couple of chances for his teammates and saw his long-range drive saved by Osaka goalkeeper Kentaro Kakoi.

Chanathip joined Sapporo last month on an 18-month loan deal from Thai League champions SCG Muang Thong United.

Promoted Consadole are currently 15th in the Japanese top flight and one point above the relegation zone at the halfway stage of the season.

Meanwhile, Witthaya Laohakul, technical chief of the Football Association of Thailand, said it was likely that Thailand defender Theerathon Bunmathan would play in the Japanese league next season.

"He should have been in Japan a long time ago. He is good enough for the J-League. He can even play in Germany,'' said Witthaya who used to be a player and a coach in Japan.

"The problem is whether he will be able to handle the pressure."

Midfielder Jakkit Wechpirom is the other Thai player in the J-League as he has joined FC Tokyo on a loan deal from Bangkok United until the end of the season.

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