Kevin Muscat’s perfect farewell as F.Marinos fans pay tribute to Aussie great

Talk about bowing out on a high. Kevin Muscat did exactly that as Yokohama F.Marinos progressed to the AFC Champions League Round of 16.

In the lead-up to F.Marinos’ sixth and final group-stage match on Wednesday, Muscat announced he was stepping down after winning the J1 League title and Japanese Super Cup during his two-and-a-half years at the helm.

Entering the showdown against Shandong Taishan in Yokohama, F.Marinos were third in Group G and three points adrift of the Chinese visitors.

MARINERS ADVANCE! Tulio-inspired Central Coast book their spot in AFC Cup knockouts

But F.Marinos trumped Shandong 3-0 as Muscat – who replaced countryman Ange Postecoglou in 2021 – farewelled by dramatically leading the 2022 Japanese champions to the knockout round.

F.Marinos, Shandong and Incheon United all finished on 12 points but Muscat’s men topped the group, while Shandong progressed as one of the three best runners-up.

There were emotional scenes post-game, with the A-Leagues legend walking around the pitch to say goodbye to the F.Marinos fans.

The former Socceroo also addressed the supporters, who displayed a banner which read: “Thank you for the fifth title and an unforgettable 2.5 years”.

F.Marinos’ title defence went down to the wire in 2023 as they were eventually pipped to the post by Vissel Kobe.

Muscat also delivered the club’s first ever Japanese Super Cup at the start of the season.

Ex-Australia international Harry Kewell – currently part of Celtic’s coaching staff – is reportedly the favourite to replace the former Melbourne Victory captain and head coach,