Table leader Kawasaki Frontale steer to seventh consecutive wins, while fresh Vissel Kobe manager, Atsuhiro Miura presents three points on his debut.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 19 took place on the 26th and 27th of September with Kawasaki Frontale amassing 53 points.

An 18th-minute Yu Kobayashi thriller was enough to see off Shonan Bellmare at Kawasaki's home. The convincing header bagged all three points for Frontale as the game ended on a single margin. The visitor now sits comfortably at the top with 53 points. Meanwhile, in the North-East, Vegalta Sendai invited second-placed Cerezo Osaka in a bid to conclude their miserable winless run. Despite 43 minutes of the vigilant display, Cerezo forward, Bruno Mendes’ Muhammad Ali-like precision bruised the hopeful. Although Takuma Nishimura’s brace reignited the pipe dream, Matej Jonjić equalizer and Hiroshi Kiyotake 20-yard screamer silenced the partially-filled Yurtec Stadium Sendai for another defeat. Cerezo won in style to cap off their last two league beatings.

Another outcry of misery at home was heard at the Kashima Soccer Stadium as Kashima Antlers’ endeavor for a perfect-September was scrapped by the visitors from Oita Prefecture. The fantastic fleet of footwork from the Oita Trinita forwards - Kazuki Kozuka and Yuya Takazawa - netted two goals from the same spots; put a halt to Antlers’ run of wins to seven. Gamba Osaka were another beneficiary of the visitors’ day as the blue and black eased past Sanfrecce Hiroshima through Shu Kurata and Patric, with only a goal behind their net.

A three-goal haul at the Ekimae Real Estate Stadium saw Sagan Tosu upset the traveler, FC Tokyo, a rare home triumph this weekend. Kaisei Ishii’s first-time finish curled past Akihiro Hayashi’s hands to open the account for the goal-laden fixture. Ryoya Morishita and Yuto Uchida then sealed the game in the second half with a goal apiece. Later in the day, Yokohama F. Marinos replicated the Tosu hauls with three goals, albeit allowing one to Kashiwa Reysol’s ragged forward Michael Olunga in the first half. Former Socceroos gaffer, Ange Postecoglou was quick to remold the Marinos through the half-time break and emerged triumphant at the full-time whistle through Erik Lima and Daizen Maeda and a Takuma Ominami howler.

It was a derby day for the Eastern outfits as Nagoya Grampus hosted Shimizu S-Pulse to their den for the Tokai Derby. The Massimo Ficcadenti-led contingent took an early lead through Hiroyuki Abe’s unflustered right foot. The lead was later elongated by Naoki Maeda as he outwitted the dumbfounded back-three and bamboozled the 31-year-old goalie, Takuo Ōkubo to fire in an empty net. A two-goal lead seemed insufficient for the Grampus as defender Yuichi Maruyama flamboyantly extended the deficit to kneel the S-Pulse. Despite Carlinhos’ late consolation, the game was to Nagoya's, who jumped to the fourth spot with 33 points from 18 games, three games short of second runners-up, Tokyo.

It was a victorious day for the populaces of Yokohama as Yokohama FC, too, collected their three points. Yokohama’s visit to the Saitama Stadium 2002 witnessed a seamless victory against Urawa Reds as Yusuke Matsuo’s flair-filled brace tantalized the home fans. The home side dominated the second half but was to no fruition, as the visitor held on to themselves for the victory.

The star-laden Vissel Kobe played their first game under the newly-appointed manager, Atsuhiro Miura; Consadole Sapporo were invited at home. Andrés Iniesta dominated the midfield through timely passes and the Spaniard was rewarded with three magnificent goals from his comrades - Kyogo Furuhashi and Yuta Goke. Yutaro Oda capped off the game before the 90th minute with an explosive 65-yard run to punish the lackadaisical Sapporo defender. It was a pleasant start for Miura.



Vissel Kobe vs Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo – Free Live Streaming on the J.League International YouTube Channel on September 26!

With great excitement, J.LEAGUE can announce a new opportunity for additional fans from select markets across the globe to watch live matches from our top flight, the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE.

Global fans in certain markets will be able to catch our first MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE broadcast on the official J.LEAGUE International YouTube channel when Vissel Kobe host Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo on September 26th at 19:00 JST.

Vissel Kobe, without former head coach Thorsten Fink, will host Consadole Sapporo. In their previous match, the home side were not affected by the sudden change of management and defeated Sagan Tosu 4-3—Their first victory in eight games. Andres Iniesta's first goal of the season was another piece of good news. They are likely to stick to their own attacking brand of football against Sapporo too. On the other hand, Consadole have sunk to 13th place with two consecutive losses. With no goal scored in the last two games, the team needs more from attackers Jay Bothroyd and Anderson Lopez.

*Broadcast only available to audiences in the following countries:
India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, East Timor, Philippines, Bhutan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Maldives, Mongolia, Laos and MENA (excluding Israel)

Click here to watch!



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 19 Preview – Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale aim for seventh consecutive win against bottom of the table Shonan Bellmare. Cerezo Osaka take on Vegalta Sendai to stop losing streak

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 19 will be held on the 26th and 27th of September.

Kawasaki Frontale are now 11 points ahead of second place Cerezo Osaka and this round play away at Shonan Bellmare. They are cruising with six consecutive victories in which they scored three goals or more in each game. Reo Hatate who claimed a brace in the previous match, is on fire. At the other end of the spectrum, Shonan Bellmare are struggling at the bottom of the table after two consecutive losses. It is all uphill against the table leaders, but Shonan are at home, and would love to claim this prefectural derby.

Second-place Cerezo Osaka travel to the Tohoku region to meet Vegalta Sendai. In the previous match they lost to FC Tokyo, and the gap with table leaders Kawasaki has widened to 11 points. In order to stay in the battle for the championship, Cerezo absolutely need these three points, and to achieve such goal they surely must tighten their defense, which conceded too many goals in the last two games. Vegalta Sendai are also in murky waters, with five consecutive losses. They were completely outplayed in their 3-1 defeat versus Yokohama F.Marinos in their last match. Can striker Alexandre Guedes bring to the team what they need to come out of their slump?

Third-place FC Tokyo will visit Sagan Tosu. They obtained three points in the crucial match against Cerezo Osaka last Wednesday, and are in high spirits. Will their Brazilian trio, provide another explosive performance? Sagan Tosu are not in great shape, coming from three consecutive losses. In this match, their main concern will be about tightening their defense, which conceded nine goals in the last three games.

Kashima Antlers jumped up to fourth-place thanks to their seventh victory in a row. They are likely the most dynamic team at the moment and in this round they will host Oita Trinita. Attention is focused on Juan Alano, who has scored in two games in a row. The visitors lost to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in their last match, and their winning streak stopped at three. Can they find back their consistence in this challenging game?

Kashiwa Reysol host Yokohama F.Marinos. They defeated Consadole Sapporo 1-0 in the previous round. While top scorer Olunga is guaranteed to deliver, it is to be seen if he can get the support of the other strikers. Yokohama F.Marinos are back in good shape with three consecutive victories. Erik, who has scored six goals in the last four games, is expected to play an important role in this match as well.

Nagoya Grampus lately have alternating good and disappointing results. In the last match, they allowed Gamba Osaka to come from behind, and dropped three points. Regaining their original toughness will be a top priority for Nagoya. Opponent Shimizu S-Pulse just lost to Urawa Reds 2-1, a game in which they fell out of sync after conceding the first goal — something they need to avoid this time.

Urawa Reds will play against Yokohama FC at home. In the previous match-day, their defense regained stability and they topped Shimizu S-Pulse without risking much. Leonardo couldn’t find the net in the last five games, and fans wonder when will he be decisive again. Although Yokohama FC lost to Kawasaki Frontale 3-2 in the previous round, it was a positive performance in which they played almost at the same level of the table leaders. Will 53-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura, who just improved the record as the oldest player in J1, stand on the pitch again?

In the last round Sanfrecce Hiroshima overcame Oita Trinita and obtained three points for the first time in three games. Douglas Vieira, who has scored four in the last five matches, will continue to lead their attack. On the other hand, Gamba Osaka defeated Nagoya Grampus in the previous game and achieved a second consecutive victory. The performance of Takashi Usami, who scored the winning goal in Nagoya, might be the key for them.

Finally, Vissel Kobe, without former head coach Thorsten Fink, will host Consadole Sapporo. In their previous match, the home side were not affected by the sudden change of management and defeated Sagan Tosu 4-3—Their first victory in eight games. Andres Iniesta's first goal of the season was another piece of good news. They are likely to stick to their own attacking brand of football against Sapporo too. On the other hand, Consadole have sunk to 13th place with two consecutive losses. With no goal scored in the last two games, the team needs more from attackers Jay Bothroyd and Anderson Lopez.



Kawasaki Frontale defeat Yokohama FC and reach 50 points. FC Tokyo prevail in crucial match.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 18 took place on the 23rd of September, with table leader Kawasaki defeating Yokohama FC and achieving their sixth consecutive victory.

Kawasaki Frontale, who hosted Yokohama FC, opened their account with Ao Tanaka's goal in the 22nd minute. Reo Hatate extended the lead early into the second half. Although Yokohama FC pulled one back immediately, Hatate got his second in the 67th minute and made it 3-1. Finally, in the 74th minute, Frontale again conceded one, but the match ended up with a 3-2 result. Kazuyoshi Miura was in Yokohama FC’s starting lineup and updated the record for the oldest player in J1 (53 years, 6 months and 28 days).

Second-place Cerezo Osaka traveled to the capital city to meet FC Tokyo. They conceded two goals that were scored by the Brazilian duo formed by Diego Oliveira (in the 63rd minute) and Adailton (in the 66th), and were defeated 2-0. The gap between with table leader Kawasaki has now opened to 11 points. Kashima Antlers experienced a dramatic victory against Shonan Bellmare at home. In the 94th minute, Juan Alano, who scored in the previous match as well, finally broke the deadlock, and Kashima jumped up to fourth-place with their seventh victory in a row.

Kashiwa Reysol played away against Consadole Sapporo. They obtained the lead through Hidekazu Otani in the 52nd minute, and that was enough to return home with the whole three points. Gamba Osaka won 2-1 coming from behind against Nagoya Grampus, courtesy of goals from Yuki Yamamoto and Takashi Usami.

Vissel Kobe were under the spotlight as manager Thorsten Fink has suddenly left the club. They hosted Sagan Tosu, and in the 9th minute, Hotaru Yamaguchi scored the opening goal. After conceding an equalizer, in the 20th minute Andres Iniesta finally found his first goal of the season and re-established Kobe’s lead. Although, they again allowed an equalizer, Kyogo Furuhashi scored a brace in the 55th and 68th minutes to make it 4-2. Eventually, the game ended with a bombastic 4-3 score, and for Vissel it was their first victory in the last eight games. Yokohama F.Marinos defeated Vegalta Sendai 3-1 with two goals coming from Erik, and achieved three consecutive victories. Sendai have now lost five games in a row.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima won at Oita Trinita 2-0 with goals from Tsukasa Morishima and Douglas Vieira. Finally Ryosuke Yamanaka and Shinzo Koroki led Urawa Reds to a  2-1 victory over Shimizu S-Pulse.



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 18 Preview – Kawasaki Frontale want to extend their lead as their rivals FC Tokyo and Cerezo Osaka meet in a crucial match

The second half of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League starts this week. As the tittle race intensifies, there are several matches that the fans would not want to miss.

Kawasaki Frontale are now eight points ahead of second place and this week host Yokohama FC. The league leaders comfortably defeated Urawa Reds last weekend to extend their winning streak to five matches. In addition to maintaining their incredible firepower, they also kept the first clean sheet in four matches. Frontale show no apparent weakness, and they hope to repeat their five-goal victory against Yokohama FC achieved two months ago. The away side lost their last game 1-0 to Oita Trinita. Expectations are high for their attackers, which might include Kazuyoshi Miura, who is likely to make the match-day squad.

Third-place FC Tokyo and second-place Cerezo Osaka face each other in the capital. They both need three points to keep chasing Kawasaki. FC Tokyo claimed their first win in the last three matches by defeating Vegalta Sendai last Sunday. Meanwhile, Cerezo’s six-match winning streak came to an end when they lost to Kashima Antlers. Since they both teams boast a solid defense and their last meeting ended in a goalless draw, this could result in a game where a single goal could mean everything.

Fourth-place Nagoya Grampus, who beat Vissel Kobe 2-1 on Saturday, will travel to Gamba Osaka. Mu Kanazaki is in an excellent form, and comes from scoring a brace against Kobe. Gamba Osaka stopped their losing streak by defeating Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. In that game they kept their third clean sheet of the season, something that could be important for the defenders’ confidence.

Kashima Antlers will try to extend their six-match winning streak as they face Shonan Bellmare at home. Since their key player Kento Mikasa is suspended, it might be crucial for  his replacement to deliver a top performance. Shonan lost to Shimizu S-Pulse on Saturday and dropped to the bottom of the table. However, they have defeated Kashima in the beginning of the season, and if they could repeat such victory it would surely boost their self-esteem.

Sixth-place Kashiwa Reysol will travel north to meet Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo after failing to win the last two matches. Olunga was unable to convert his opportunities in a 1-1 draw against Sanfrecce Hiroshima: will he return to be the usual goal-machine in this match? Sapporo lost to Gamba Osaka and failed to claim the three points for the second time in a row. With improved defense, they will try to challenge the opponents to whom they lost 4-2 on the opening day of the season.

Yokohama F.Marinos are improving their form as they won two consecutive matches while scoring three goals in each fixture. Erik has found the net in three matches in a row and is expected to be a key player this week as well. Their opponents Vegalta Sendai are winless in seven matches and lost the last four. Manager Takashi Kiyama has the difficult task to revive a team that sits in the 17th place.

Urawa Reds will meet Shimizu S-Pulse away after losing to Kawasaki on Sunday. Since they conceded 11 goals in four matches, they will need to tighten their defense. Meanwhile, Shimizu ended their seven-match losing streak when they defeated Shonan Bellmare last weekend. If they maintain the quality of that performance, they could register their first winning streak of the season.

Vissel Kobe are now winless in seven matches and occupy the 12th place in the table. On the last match-day, they could not defend their lead and lost to Nagoya Grampus. As their struggle continues, expectations are high for Douglas, who has not scored for a while. Sagan Tosu are also struggling, having lost in their last two matches. The performance of Daichi Hayashi, who claimed four goals in the last five games, could directly affect the result.

Finally, Oita Trinita jumped up to the 11th place after three consecutive wins. They are eager to extend their winning streak. Hiroshima failed to claim the three points against Kashiwa on Saturday, which means they are now winless in two matches. Douglas Oliveira, who scored three in four games, might be the one to give a spark to his struggling team.



Unstoppable Kawasaki Frontale achieve fifth consecutive victory! Kashima Antlers top second-place Cerezo Osaka.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 17 took place over the 19th and 20th of September, with table leaders Kawasaki defeating Urawa Reds and dashing toward the title.

Kawasaki Frontale traveled to Urawa, and the visitors took the lead through a goal from Miki Yamane in the 37th minute. Ace Yu Kobayashi extended the lead in the 50th minute, and Leandro Damião made it 3-0 just before the end of the game. The table leaders now count 47 points and opened an 8-point gap over second-place Cerezo Osaka.

FC Tokyo, who hosted Vegalta Sendai, managed to take the lead with Hirotaka Mita in the 13th minute, and that proved to be enough for a 1-0 victory, their first in three games. Oita Trinita met Yokohama FC at home and them as well won 1-0, thanks to Tatsuya Tanaka's goal in the 38th minute. It was their third consecutive victory and the  Kyushu team moved up into 11th place.

Cerezo Osaka hosted Kashima Antlers, and Juan Alano gave the lead to the visitors in the 32nd minute. Kashima then conceded an equalizer, but Everaldo found the winning goal and led the team to a 2-1 win. With six consecutive victories, Antlers are in fifth place. Cerezo Osaka’s winning streak ended at six.

Nagoya Grampus hosted Vissel Kobe. The home team conceded the lead in the 15th minute, but they pulled one back, courtesy of Mu Kanazaki's penalty in the 42nd minute. With another goal from the eleven meters in the 56th, Kanazaki led his team to a 2-1 victory. Sanfrecce Hiroshima traveled to Kashiwa Reysol. The purple archers scored the opening goal early in the game, but conceded an equalizer, scored by Kengo Kitazume before the end of the first half. The match ended up in a 1-1 draw.

Yokohama F.Marinos played away against Sagan Tosu. The visitors took the lead through a goal from a Brazilian Erik in the 1st minute of the game and another carioca, Junior Santos, extended the lead to 2-0. Although they let one one in, striker Marcos Júnior —yet another Brazilian!— found the net and made it 3-1. It was F.Marinos’ second consecutive victory.

Gamba Osaka traveled to Hokkaido to meet Consadole Sapporo. Veteran Kazuma Watanabe found the net in the 78th minute and led Gamba to an important 1-0 away victory that stopped Gamba’s losing streak at two. Finally, Shimizu S-Pulse defeated Shonan Bellmare 3-0 with goals from Carlinhos Júnio, Júnior Dutra and Kenta Nishizawa. Their victory stopped their series of defeats at seven, marked their 400th J1 wins and helped to move away from the bottom of the table.



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 17 Preview - Cerezo Osaka or Kashima Antlers: which team will extend their winning streak? Runaway leaders Kawasaki Frontale face Urawa Reds away.

Match-day 17 of Meiji Yasuda J1 League, which marks the end of the first half of the season, will take place on September 19 and 20.

The league leaders Kawasaki Frontale will face Urawa Reds in Saitama after disposing of Sanfrecce Hiroshima last week and extending their winning streak to four matches. Five goals against an opponents famous for a well-organized defense show Kawasaki’s overwhelming quality. The performance of Ao Tanaka, who scored a brace upon returning to the starting line-up, again could make a difference. Meanwhile, Urawa defeated Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo last weekend, but they have conceded eight goals in the last three matches. How they will manage to defend against Kawasaki Frontale’s powerful attack will be an important theme of this game.

Another big match this weekend is the one between Cerezo Osaka and Kashima Antlers. The former won their last six matches and the latter their last five. A game of great quality is expected, as two of the most in-form teams face each other. In addition to a solid defense, Cerezo Osaka have their two stars Hiroshi Kiyotake and Yoichiro Kakitani increasingly improving their fitness. However, they might be accusing some fatigue, since they played on Wednesday. Kashima’s attacking department is finally producing results, having scored 12 goals in the last five matches. Their attack, built around Everaldo and Shoma Doi, could be difficult to stop even for Cerezo’s solid defense.

Third-place FC Tokyo are having problems keeping up with the top two teams as they failed to win in the last two matches. To remain in the title race, they need to stabilize their defense and start picking up points consistently. Their opponents, Vegalta Sendai, are winless in six matches and lost the last three. They also have defensive problems which resulted in conceding nine goals in three matches.

Fourth-place Nagoya Grampus lost to Yokohama FC last week due to defensive mistakes. Returning to their usual high standard of defending will be an important point for them this weekend. The away side Vissel Kobe are winless in six matches after losing 1-0 to Cerezo Osaka on Wednesday. They might decide to rotate some players in the midst of their busy schedule.

Kashiwa Reysol, who lost 2-1 at Sagan Tosu last week, host Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Since Olunga is still in great form, the visitors’ defensive unit needs to step up. Hiroshima suffered a heavy defeat against Kawasaki Frontale in their last match. Manager Hiroshi Jofuku has a difficult task, as he needs to help the team to bounce back from a shocking loss.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo seized their first win in ten matches on Wednesday, beating Sagan Tosu. A clean sheet is a proof of improvement that gives them a boost for a potential comeback in the second half of the season. Their opponents Gamba Osaka are losing steam, getting defeated in the last two matches. Since they have not scored a goal in those games, the attackers have to show their character.

Sagan Tosu will meet Yokohama F.Marinos at home after suffering their first defeat in four games on Wednesday. As they regularly play two matches a week because of their postponed fixtures, maintaining condition will be an important factor for manager Kim Myung-Hwi. Yokohama F.Marinos stopped their three-game losing streak by topping Shimizu S-Pulse on Wednesday. Erik has scored three goals in the last two matches and he is likely to play an important role this weekend as well.

Oita Trinita are showing signs of improvement as they won the last two matches, and face Yokohama FC at home on Sunday. Scoring three goals twice in a row shows that their attack is working well and in particular Tatsuya Tanaka seems to be their key player. Their opponents, Yokohama FC, also ended their three-match losing streak by topping Nagoya. They will continue to rely on their excellent passing football to seize a second win in a row.

The bottom two teams Shonan Bellmare and Shimizu S-Pulse face each other. Shonan gained their first three points in nine matches by defeating Gamba Osaka last week. Their aggressive playing style is coming back, and they are undefeated in three matches. Meanwhile, Shimizu’s struggle continues as they suffered seven consecutive defeats. In addition to defensive problems, their ability to score seems gone. Manager Peter Cklamovski is at a crucial moment to turn things around.



Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale obliterate Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Cerezo Osaka comeback means a fifth consecutive victory!

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 16 took place over the 12th and 13th of September with both table leaders Kawasaki and second-place Cerezo seizing important victories.

Kawasaki Frontale displayed all of their overwhelming might against visitors Sanfrecce Hiroshima. The first goal was the product of Ao Tanaka, then Leandro Damião got the second, and Kazuya Yamamura extended the lead to 3-0. One minute later, Tanaka found his second goal, and ace striker Yu Kobayashi put an end to the game with the fifth goal. Hiroshima pulled one back by the end of the game, but to no avail. The table leaders continued their unstoppable match and now count four consecutive victories and 44 points.

Cerezo Osaka, traveled to Yokohama to play F.Marinos. The Osakans conceded the lead at the beginning of the second half, but Hiroshi Kiyotake found the equalizer in the 58th minute and Toshiyuki Takagi claimed the winner in the 86th. It was the fifth victory in a row for Cerezo.

Kashima Antlers as well achieved their fifth wins in a row when they faced Shimizu S-Pulse. In the 29th minute they took the lead through a goal from Everaldo and Shoma Doi made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute. Although they conceded in the 79th, they returned home with the whole three points. In Kobe, rookie Takuya Yasui scored his first goal in J1 League to break the deadlock in the 24th minute. FC Tokyo turned the match around with two goals, but Dankler found the equalizer for Vissel just before the end of the game, and the match ended up in a 2-2 draw.

Yokohama FC topped Nagoya Grampus 3-2 in a see-saw game. The home side conceded early, but Kosuke Saito equalized in the 19th minute. Three minutes later, Taka’aki Shichi gave the lead to Yokohama FC. Although they conceded a second goal in the 75th minute, five minutes later Yuji Senuma found the winning goal and led the team to a 3-2 win. 53-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura was on the bench, but did not enter the pitch.

Urawa Reds, traveled to Consadole Sapporo and quickly took a 2-0 lead through Kenyu Sugimoto’s brace. Although the home side managed to score three goals to turn the game around, Tomoaki Makino found the equalizer and finally Kai Shibato made it 4-3 at the end of a very exciting match. Sagan Tosu caught up with Daichi Hayashi's goal in the 45th minute after conceding the lead to Kashiwa Reysol, and Riki Harakawa led the team to a 2-1 victory with a goal in the 48th minute.

Oita Trinita cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win against Vegalta Sendai, with goals from Kazushi Mitsuhira, Kei Chinen and Tatsuya Tanaka. Finally, Shonan Bellmare defeated Gamba Osaka with a goal from Kazunari Ono in the 74th minute, and with their second victory of the season they moved away from the bottom of the table.



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 16 preview – Top form Kawasaki Frontale host challenging Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Cerezo Osaka take on defending champions Yokohama F.Marinos to make it five victories in a row.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 16 will take place over the 12th and 13th of September.

Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale host Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Currently, the home side are picking up pace, and come from three consecutive victories. In their previous match, they seized a dramatic comeback victory, defeating Vissel Kobe 3-2. Twenty-year-old Taisei Miyashiro, who scored his first goal in J1 League against Kobe, will be under the spotlight. Hiroshima as well are in good shape, having won their last two matches. In the previous round, they enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 success over Shimizu S-Pulse. In addition to a steady defense, they have improved their scoring ability. But mostly it will be a battle between Kawasaki’s overwhelming attack and Hiroshima’s solid defense.

Second place Cerezo Osaka won four in a row and are chasing Kawasaki. In this round, They will face Yokohama F.Marinos away. Their defense achieved two clean sheet in a row, and in addition their scoring ability has been improving. Can Hiroaki Okuno, who snatched a brace in the previous match, find the net again? F.Marinos lost two in a row and their condition is once again declining. How can they break the Osakans’ solid defense? All expectations are on Brazilian duo Marcos Júnior and Júnior Santos.

Third place FC Tokyo will travel to Vissel Kobe eyeing their fourth consecutive victory. Attention is focused on the young combo formed by of Kyosuke Tagawa and Daichi Hara that led the team to victory in the last match. Kobe dropped the three points to Kawasaki in the previous round and have won no games in the last four. Their leading players, such as Andres Iniesta, are in poor condition, and thus it is difficult to achieve the results they want. Can Noriaki Fujimoto and Kyogo Furuhashi, who revitalize the front line with their speedy play, provide some momentum to the team?

Fourth place Nagoya Grampus will play an away game at Yokohama FC. In the previous match, they achieved a come-from-behind victory, topping 2-1 the other Yokohama team, F.Marinos. Hiroyuki Abe, who has recovered from the injury, will lead the attack. Yokohama FC are struggling, coming from three consecutive losses. In the previous game, they were defeated by FC Tokyo, although they took the lead first. There is an urgent need to fix the defensive mechanisms, as they conceded seven goals in three games.

Kashiwa Reysol will travel to Sagan Tosu. The home side have regained the momentum with two consecutive victories. In the previous round, they showed their powerful attacking style, and beat Gamba Osaka 3-0. Not only top scorer Olunga but also Ataru Esaka, who continues to perform at top level, are the ones to watch. Tosu drew with Urawa Reds in their previous game. Although they took the leads twice, they conceded equalizers each time. Therefore, their theme for this match could be managing the game better, if leading.

Kashima Antlers have moved up to sixth place with four consecutive victories. This round they will travel to Shimizu S-Pulse. Their attack is in high spirits, with 10 goals scored in four games. Will Ayase Ueda find the net again? Shimizu are in a slump with five consecutive losses in which their fragile defense gave away 18 goals. While displaying an attacking style of football, it may be difficult to turn the tide if they cannot solve their defensive problems.

Consadole Sapporo will host Urawa Reds. They haven't won in eight games and while they haven’t scored in their last three games, the attackers will do their best to fulfill their potential. Urawa as well could not obtain the three points in their last two games. But they showed the tenacity it took to equalize at the end of their last match. Shinzo Koroki, who has reached 150 goals in J1, is expected to play an important role in this round as well.

Vegalta Sendai will host Oita Trinita. The home side saw no victory in five games, and lost to Kashima in their last match. While they have scored often enough, the stability of the defensive organization needs a tune up. Oita as well have been abandoned from the goddess of victory. However in the previous round, they showed tenacity until the end and drew with Shonan. Which team will get the needed result and a chance to improve their situation?

Shonan Bellmare, have sunk to the bottom of the table and travel to Gamba Osaka. They have shown signs of recovery in the last two matches; however, they couldn’t manage a two-goal lead and shared points with Oita. Can they find back their aggressive football and their legendary high-work-rate? Gamba Osaka experienced a total defeat against Kashiwa in the last match. They surely aim to improve their defensive performance, after conceding three goals.



Kawasaki Frontale stage late comeback to beat Vissel Kobe! Cerezo Osaka chase them after fourth consecutive win!

Kawasaki Frontale extended their winning streak by topping Vissel Kobe on Match-day 15 of Meiji Yasuda J1 League on September 9.

Yu Kobayashi’s goal in the 8th minute gave Kawasaki an early lead, but they threw it all away by conceding in the 23rd and 59th minutes. However, substitute Leandro Damião found the equalizer in the 83rd and Taisei Miyashiro completed the comeback two minutes later. With a 3-2 victory, Kawasaki maintained their eight-point lead at the top of the table. Second-place Cerezo Osaka defeated Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2-0, thanks to Hiroaki Okuno’s brace and extended their winning streak to four matches.

FC Tokyo achieved the third victory in a row when they faced Yokohama FC at home. They fell behind in the 17th minute, but Kyosuke Tagawa equalized in the 30th minute and Taichi Hara’s winner in the 85th minute sealed the 2-1 win. Nagoya Grampus also came from behind after conceding within a minute after kickoff. Brazilian duo Gabriel Xavier and Mateus scored in the 24th and 74th minute for Nagoya’s first three points in three matches.

Kashiwa Reysol took an early lead against Gamba Osaka at home when Olunga scored in the 2nd minute. Ataru Esaka added a brace in the 40th and 62nd to lead the team to a comfortable 3-0 win. Kashima Antlers defeated Vegalta Sendai 2-1 with goals by Everaldo and Ayase Ueda, and moved up to the 6th place.

Ezequiel broke the deadlock for Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the 31st minute, and they added three more goals in the end to bulldoze Shimizu S-Pulse 4-1. Urawa Reds, struggled at home against Sagan Tosu, but picked up a point from a 2-2 draw, thanks to Yuki Muto’s equalizer in the 81st minute. Oita Trinita had a rough start when Shonan Bellmare took a 2-0 lead, but Toshio Shimakawa and Kohei Isa scored respectively in the 78th and 88th minutes to tie the game 2-2.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Match rescheduled

The 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE match which was postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been rescheduled as follows.

■2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE match rescheduled

Sec. Date KO Fixture Venue TV/Internet
(in Japan)
13 Wednesday
21 October
19:30 Shonan
vs Sagan



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 15 preview – A chance for Vissel Kobe to take revenge over Kawasaki Frontale. Cerezo Osaka host Consadole Sapporo and eye fourth consecutive victory!

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 15 will take place on September 9th. The tight schedule means that games will be played only three days after the previous ones, and  the footballers’ fitness will be a major factor in determining victory or defeat.

Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale host Vissel Kobe at the Todoroki Stadium. In their previous match, they overwhelmed Yokohama F.Marinos and won 3-1. Young star Kaoru Mitoma, who scored eight goals in the season and is ranked fourth place in the top scorers table, is expected to play an important role in this match. Kobe come from three consecutive draws. In this season they met Kawasaki on August 26th and drew 2-2. However, as the two clubs clashed in the Levain Cup semi-final a week ago, Kobe were defeated 6-0. Will they manage to display their tiki-taka football and at the same time manage to contain Kawasaki’s attacks?

Second place Cerezo Osaka await Consadole Sapporo at the Yanmar Stadium. In the previous match the Osakans defeated Urawa Reds and achieved their third consecutive victory. In addition to their solid defense, their scoring ability is improving as well, and it will be interesting to keep an eye on Shota Fujio, who marked the first goal of his career. On the other hand, Sapporo are in a slump, and haven’t won any of their last seven matches, a negative series so far ending with their 2-0 loss against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the previous round. They still can create goal opportunities, but they need their forwards to step up, and thus there are expectations for their English striker Jay Bothroyd.

Third place FC Tokyo will host Yokohama FC at the Ajinomoto Stadium. They are in good shape, coming from two consecutive victories. Can Shuto Abe, who snatched the winning goal in their last match, be decisive again? Yokohama FC had a diametrically opposite experience, having lost their last two games. They left three points at Sagan Tosu, who played their first league match in about a month. Yokohama FC need to fix their defense that lately has been all over the place and conceded seven goals in the last three games.

Nagoya Grampus host Yokohama F.Marinos at the Paloma Mizuho Stadium. They could not get the three points in their last two games, and last weekend, they lost to Kashima Antlers. Improving a defense that gave away three goals in each of the last two matches will be crucial. F.Marinos were defeated in the last two games as well. Just as Nagoya, they will try to keep their defensive line high, and snatch the ball, to then hit the opposition with quick attacks.

Kashiwa Reysol will host Gamba Osaka at the Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium. Goals from Hiroto Goya and Ataru Esaka led the team to a 2-1 win against Shimizu S-Pulse in the past match. Top scorer Olunga, who was given a break in the last round, is expected to return in good shape. Again in the past match-day, Gamba’s offense overwhelmed Sendai’s defense with four goals. Kashiwa should be concerned about the offensive duo formed by Takashi Usami and Ademilson.

Kashima Antlers surged to ninth place thanks to three consecutive wins in which they scored eight goals. This time, they host Vegalta Sendai at the Kashima Soccer Stadium. Expectations are high for Shoma Doi, who scored in two games in a row. Sendai sit in 15th place with no victories in the last four games. Their defense conceded four goals last Saturday: will they be capable to contain Kashima’s attacks?

Urawa Reds play against Sagan Tosu at the Saitama Stadium. The home team experienced total defeat against Cerezo in the previous round. Leonardo continues to do well, but the other attacking players are in a slump. Tosu seized a spectacular victory in the first match in about a month, versus Yokohama FC. Their incredible stamina might be a key element in this match and in the rest of the season.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima won at Consadole Sapporo in the past weekend. They finally managed to obtained three points for the first time in their last five games. Speedy Yuya Asano is the player expected to switch on their offense. The opponent Shimizu S-Pulse are back to the blackboard after four consecutive losses and again they need to reduce mistakes and concede less goals.

Finally, Oita await Shonan Bellmare at the Daigin Dome. They have not won in the last four matches and are currently on a two-games losing streak. Their attacking package has generated only two goals in the last four games. Likewise, Shonan have not won one in their last seven games. However, in their last match they drew to Vissel Kobe and stopped their losing streak at six. Both teams are in a difficult situation, will one of them manage to turn the tide?



Unstoppable Kawasaki Frontale top defending champions in the Kanagawa derby. Sagan Tosu return and seize the first victory in a month.

The nine games of Match-day 14 of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League were played on the 5th of September. Kawasaki Frontale overcame Yokohama F.Marinos in the derby and stayed on top as undisputed leaders.

Kawasaki traveled to neighboring city Yokohama to meet F.Marinos. The table leaders conceded an early lead with as Brazilian striker Marcos Junior put the home side ahead. However, Frontale equalized with a goal from rookie Kaoru Mitoma in the 33rd minute. The almighty Akihiro Ienaga made it 2-1 early in the second half, and Mitoma found the net again in the 50th minute. Kawasaki have now earned 38 points out of 45, and continue their incredible run.

Cerezo Osaka hosted Urawa Reds and broke a scoreless tie in the 48th minute as Ken Tokura found the net. They then proceeded to extend the lead to 3-0 with an owngoal and a goal by Shota Fujio. Cerezo keep chasing Kawasaki, but are eight points behind. FC Tokyo traveled to Oita Trinita. The capital city team took the lead with Shuto Abe and managed to get through the 90 minutes without conceding a goal, returning home with the whole three points.

Kashima Antlers traveled to Nagoya Grampus. The visitors’ Ryuji Izumi snatched a goal and Ryotaro Araki added one. Although they let one in, Shoma Doi newly extended their lead and made it 3-1, to seal a comfortable win - their third in a row. Gamba Osaka visited Vegalta Sendai and went on a goal-rush after conceding the lead. The final score was 4-1.

Kashiwa Reysol took the lead at Shimizu S-Pulse in the 35th minute through a goal from Hiroto Goya, and three minutes later, Ataru Esaka added another. The visitors conceded one just before the end, but still managed to win the match 2-1. Sanfrecce Hiroshima defeated Consadole Sapporo 2-0 with goals from Douglas Vieira and Yuya Asano. It was their first three points in the last five matches.

Sagan Tosu hosted Yokohama FC. In the 11th minute, Takeshi Kanamori gave the lead to the home-side, and the young stars duo made of Daichi Hayashi and Tomoya Koyamatsu extended the lead to 3-0. They obtained the first victory in over a month. Finally, Shonan Bellmare went ahead in the 50th minute through a goal from Kazuki Oiwa. However, three minutes later, Vissel Kobe made it 1-1, which was also the final score. Shonan couldn't claim a win, but at least managed to stop their losing streak at six.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Matches rescheduled

The 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE matches which were postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been rescheduled as follows.

■2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE matches rescheduled

Sec. Date KO Fixture Venue TV/Internet
(in Japan)
12 Wednesday
16 September
19:30 Sagan Tosu vs Hokkaido
Consadole Sapporo
10 Wednesday
7 October
19:00 Sagan Tosu vs Gamba Osaka EKI.S DAZN
11 Sunday
8 November
TBD Vegalta Sendai vs Sagan Tosu TBD DAZN

*Further details will be announced in early October.



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 14 Preview – Yokohama F.Marinos and Kawasaki Frontale promise some exciting football, while Sagan Tosu return to the field for the first time in a month

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 14 will take place on September 5. The big match of this weekend is the Kanagawa derby between Yokohama F.Marinos and Kawasaki Frontale. Since both the defending champions and current league leaders boast great attacking ability, we should expect an exciting match with a lot of goals.

Yokohama F.Marinos are unbeaten in four matches, in which they scored 14 goals. The fitness of last year’s MVP Teruhito Nakagawa is improving, and he could play a crucial role in this showdown. Meanwhile, Kawasaki crushed Shimizu S-Pulse 5-0 last week and Vissel Kobe 6-0 on Wednesday in the Levain Cup quarterfinals. Their key player is Kengo Nakamura, who just returned from injury and has already scored a goal.

Cerezo Osaka sit in second place and are chasing Kawasaki Frontale. The Osakans host Urawa Reds, led by Hiroshi Kiyotake, who has now scored in two consecutive matches. Urawa showed that they are in decent form as they defeated Oita Trinita last week. Leonardo has scored seven goals in the last seven matches and could be a major threat to Cerezo’s solid defense.

Third-place FC Tokyo will face Oita away after defeating Gamba Osaka last week, thanks to a great performance from their foreign attackers. On top of the powerful Brazilians, Shuto Abe showed his quality in the Levain Cup quarterfinals in midweek. Oita are winless in three matches now. They took the lead against Urawa last week but failed to defend it and succumbed in the end. Better defense will be required against FC Tokyo.

Fourth-place Nagoya Grampus are unbeaten in three matches in which they have not conceded any goal. Since they have problems producing goals, attackers like Naoki Maeda need to step up to help their team. The away side Kashima Antlers achieved two wins in a row. Expectations are high for Shoma Doi, who scored a brace last weekend.

Kashiwa will travel to Shizuoka to meet Shimizu S-Pulse. Olunga is still in great form, but there is an increasing number of injuries among Reysol defenders, so the quality of the performance of the substitutes will be decisive. Shimizu’s struggle continues, after losing the last three matches in which they conceded 12 goals. If they are unable to address their defensive issues, this week’s match might be another difficult one.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo are winless in six matches, although they managed to keep a clean sheet last week. To overcome the current hardship, the continuity of good defensive work will be a key. Their opponents Sanfrecce Hiroshima are also struggling and have not won in the last four matches. They too need to reduce the number of goals conceded to put an end to their winless streak.

Vegalta Sendai are in poor form, failing to win in the last three matches, but drew 1-1 with Hiroshima as veteran midfielder Shingo Hyodo scored a crucial goal in his first appearance of the season. Away side Gamba Osaka also have not enjoyed a win in their last three matches in which they conceded seven goals. Some defensive tune up is clearly needed.

Shonan Bellmare currently sit at the bottom of the table after losing six consecutive matches. The main problem is their poor attacking ability, which is proven by the fact that they failed to score a goal in four of the last six matches. Since their game against Tosu was postponed, this is the first match in two weeks for them. Taking advantage of the rest, Shonan hope to beat the opponents with working rate. Vissel Kobe are undefeated in three matches but failed to win the last two. On the last match-day, they scored two goals late in the game to snatch an equalizer. Although there could be some lack of confidence after losing 6-0 to Kawasaki in the Levain Cup, Andrés Iniesta’s comeback from injury is surely great news for Vissel.

Sagan Tosu return to the field for the first time in a month. Due to positive cases of COVID-19 in the team, they were unable to continue their activity and their last four matches were postponed. After facing such difficulty, Tosu seem highly motivated to show their quality. Their opponents Yokohama FC’s three-match winning streak stopped last week when they were defeated by Cerezo Osaka. In that game they could not get in their rhythm after conceding early, so this time their approach to the game could prove crucial.



Kawasaki Frontale continue their incredible run, while Yokohama F.Marinos and Kashima Antlers show signs of comeback [Meiji Yasuda J1 League Monthly Report: August]

A total of six match-days of Meiji Yasuda J1 League were played in August. Let’s look back at how teams did during this busy month in the midst of the summer heat.

Kawasaki Frontale’s dominance continued. Although their winning streak that had started on Match-day 2 came to an end when they suffered a defeat at the hands of Nagoya Grampus on Match-day 12, they kept earning points in August, adding another five wins, a drew and a loss (including the already played Match-day 24 against Vissel Kobe). Their amazing firepower was confirmed by them scoring five or more goals in three matches during this period. In addition to Leandro Damião and Yu Kobayashi, the rookie duo of Kaoru Mitoma and Reo Hatate is also producing a considerable number of goals. With Kengo Nakamura also scoring to celebrate his comeback from injury, Kawasaki’s incredible run earned them an eight-point lead at the top of the table, and it won’t be easy for any of their rivals to catch them.

Second-place Cerezo Osaka are another team that showed continuity, registering four wins, a drew and a loss in August. Their big defeat against Kawasaki Frontale on Match-day 11 was hard to swallow, but they displayed their solid defense in all other matches. Their attacking ability is also improving, thanks to the good form of Hiroshi Kiyotake and Bruno Mendes, which is good news for Cerezo ahead of September, a crucial month if they want to try to chase up Kawasaki.

Kashima Antlers and Yokohama F.Marinos showed signs of comeback in August, as both won four matches. Kashima are starting to thrive as the team adapts to Zago’s new style of football and Everaldo finally shows his quality. While Atsuto Uchida’s retirement could have an impact on the team, players like Shoma Doi and rookie Itsuki Someno have become important to keep up the good form for the rest of the season.

Defending champions Yokohama F.Marinos’ attacking power is on fire again, with 14 goals scored in the last four matches. New signing Júnior Santos had an immediate impact, and last year’s top scorer duo Marcos Junior and Teruhito Nakagawa are improving their form. Although the number of goals conceded is a concern, F.Marinos performance in recent matches suggest there are chances to see them joining the title race.

Yokohama FC are another team that had a good August. They had a three-match winning streak, beginning with the victory against Shonan Bellmare on Match-day 10. The return to a back-four system worked well and attackers such as Yusuke Matsuo are thriving. If they maintained their form, they could become the dark horse of the season. 

Meanwhile, Gamba Osaka, Vissel Kobe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima have struggled to earn points. Shimizu S-Pulse, who once looked like they were past the worst time, are back in a tough situation again after three consecutive defeats.

The two teams that had the worst August are Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Shonan Bellmare, both unable to register a single win. Sapporo had two draws and four defeats, while Shonan lost all of their five matches.

Sapporo’s defense needs a serious makeover after conceding three goals or more in four matches, and the departure of Musashi Suzuki might have a big impact on the rest of the season. Shonan, in addition to defensive problems are also experiencing issues in their attacking department, failing to score in four out of five matches. If they cannot find solutions soon, the struggle could last for the rest of the season. 

The Four matches involving Sagan Tosu, those between Match-days 10 and 13, have been postponed after several players and staff of the club tested positive for COVID-19.

As for individual performances, Kashiwa’s Olunga is drawing a lot of attention. The Kenyan striker scored in seven consecutive games from Match-day 5, netting six goals in six matches in August. Nagoya’s Naoki Maeda impressed against Urawa Reds on Match-day 9 by scoring four goals in the same game, and Urawa’s Leonardo and FC Tokyo’s Leandro are constantly increasing their goal tallies. This year’s race to become the top scorer will surely be tough!




Kengo Nakamura joins in as Kawasaki Frontale nets five. Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama F.Marinos thriller ends up with a draw.

Week 13 of Meiji Yasuda J1 League took place over the 29th and 30th August weekend. Kawasaki Frontale defeated Shimizu S-Pulse and secured their first place in the table.

Frontale, who hosted Shimizu S-Pulse, took the lead in the 21st minute through a goal from Reo Hatate. Leandro Damião made it 2-0 in the beginning of the second half, and Reo Hatate scored again in the 74th Minute. In the end, the table leaders extended their tally to five, thanks to goals from veteran Kengo Nakamura, who has recovered from injury, and Kaoru Mitoma.

FC Tokyo traveled to Gamba Osaka. The away side’s striker, Diego Oliveira found the net early, in the 8th minute. Although Tokyo conceded an equalizer, the Brazilian re-established their lead in the 73rd. And eight minutes later, another Brazilian, Adailton, got another, sealing the capital team’s 3-1 final victory, that also meant a move up to third place. Urawa Reds, who hosted Oita Trinita, conceded the lead, but goals from Leonardo and Daiki Hashioka led them to a 2-1 victory.

Vissel Kobe and Yokohama F.Marinos were involved in a fierce duel. The home side were down 3-1, but thanks to their tenacity and two very late goals, they managed to tie the match - Kyogo Furuhashi with the final equalizer. Kashima Antlers traveled to Kashiwa Reysol. The visitors went one man up in the first half, when a red card was shown to Shunki Takahashi. Nonetheless, as Reysol’s Olunga netted a brace, Antlers were one goal down as the match approached its final minutes. But in the 89th minute, they were back in the game, thanks to a goal from Shoma Doi, who just 2 minutes later, added one more to claim the three points.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima took the lead with Leandro Pereira early into the game, but conceded in the 72th minute and shared points with Vegalta Sendai. The match between Consadole Sapporo and Nagoya Grampus ended up in a goalless draw 0-0. 

Finally, Cerezo Osaka traveled to Yokohama FC. Hiroshi Kiyotake  was in great form, he found the net and led the Osakans throughout the match. In the 58th minute, Bruno Mendes extended the lead. Though they conceded one, Cerezo grabbed their second consecutive win. They now count 27 points and are still in second place. This game also marked the end of Yokohama FC’s their four-game winning streak.

The match between Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu has been postponed due to COVID-19. 



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 13 Preview – Yokohama FC houses Cerezo Osaka and eyes fourth consecutive victory, whilst J1 League ‘Clash of the Titans’ between Emperor's Cup winner and League champ ready to wow the fans

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 13 will take place on August 29 and 30.

Kawasaki Frontale seek to arise from the two winless runs, as they host Shimizu S-Pulse at the Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium this Saturday. Despite the record, Kawasaki proved its sharpness with an unyielding late equalizer against Vissel Kobe during the mid-week fixture, whilst budding youngsters with the likes of Reo Hatate’s improvement was the silver lining for Frontale amid the congested fixture. Meanwhile, Shimizu head east with an impending need for defensive rectification that cost them two games and seven goals.

Cerezo Osaka depart Yanmar Stadium Nagai, buoyed by the latest victory against Vegalta Sendai, after a mind-boggling defeat to Frontale. Hiroshi Kiyotake, with a goal to his name last week, will be the household name for Cerezo’s journey to Yokohama, whilst his counterpart, Yusuke Minagawa sharpens his blades, bagging two goals in the past two games. The host has been undefeated for the previous three fixtures, with the return to back-four proving to be the solution for them.

Nagoya Grampus travel north to face Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, following a narrow victory against Kawasaki last week. The consistent nimble attacking display and solid defense will be crucial for Nagoya’s mission to accomplish third consecutive league wins at the Sapporo Dome, where the fortress is on the verge of a breakdown. Sapporo suffered another heavy defeat mid-week at the Nissan Stadium, aggravating its winless run to five. Hokkaido manager, Mihailo Petrović’s time ticks as the Serbian seeks to repair the fractured defense that cost them 26 goals, by far the most in the league.

FC Tokyo leave the capital to pit against Gamba Osaka as it wishes to brush off from the regretful home defeat (1-2 Kashima Antlers) this Wednesday. Pressures lie on the top performer, Leonardo, to pull Tokyo’s good form on track from its first deviation in the last five outings. Gamba dropped to seventh on the ladder after garnering just a single point in the last two fixtures. A high-level of concentration is demanded from the black and blue, who failed to bring home the three points with an injury-time concession.

Kashiwa Reysol’s goalless draw with Oita Trinita last week saw both sides sharing the spoils, as the rugged Kenyan forward, Olunga failed to extend his traits as the marksman. Being responsible for half of Kashiwa’s total goals scored this season, the former Girona FC player will be on the center stage during the fixture. Contrastingly, their counterpart, Kashima Antlers make a fresh entry to the Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium with a victory over at the capital city on Wednesday. However, more goals are needed from the Brazilian duo, Juan Alano and Everaldo, if Kashima wish to replicate their jovial victory mid-week.

Vissel Kobe’s weekend fixture against Yokohama F. Marinos is the island’s ‘Clash of the Titans’. The last season Emperor’s Cup winner, Kobe will house J1 League champ F. Marinos at the Noevir Stadium Kobe. Both sides’ recent resurgence in the league is a positive sign for the fans highly anticipating for this Saturday’s clash. The ‘Community Shield replay’s outcome may well depend on the foot of each team’s Brazilian forwards, Douglas and Júnior Santos.

Urawa Reds’ winning streak came to a halt as Thorsten Fink’s side surged from their recent poor performances. Improved showing is highly demanded from Urawa’s forwards, albeit Thomas Deng’s magnificent consolation, if they seek to reclaim their last league silverware in 2006. Visitors, Oita Trinita arrive at Saitama Stadium 2002 with five points in their bag from the past three games. With only a goal behind their net from those games, the solid defensive display will again be paramount for this week’s outing.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s fragmented defense inflicted three goals in each of their past two outings, with their last win coming on as far as three weeks ago. A robust defensive display is the first assignment for Hiroshima. Meanwhile, their counterpart, Vegalta Sendai’s state of affairs isn’t any better, with no wins in the last two games. Vegalta currently sits 15th on the ladder, just two spots above the relegation zone, if it were to be enforced. More goals are needed from the forwards as Vegalta struggles to find the net.

The match between Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu has been postponed due to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among the Tosu players and staff.



Atsuto Uchida announced his retirement.

Kashima Antlers announced on the 20th of August that defender Atsuto Uchida is retiring. His contract with Kashima expires on August 31st, 2020, and on the 23rd, Uchida gave to his fans a farewell message after the end of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League match against Gamba Osaka.

Uchida joined Kashima Antlers in 2006 from Shimizu East High School. Having played as a regular since the first season, he contributed to three consecutive J1 title from 2007. In 2008 and 2009, he was selected in the J.League Best Eleven. After having played in Germany for FC Schalke 04 (2010-17) and 1.FC Union Berlin (2017-18), he returned to Kashima in 2018.

In his 15 years career, he played 147 games and scored 3 goals in total in J.League (as of August 20, 2020). He also played 74 games and scored two goals for the Japanese national team, and participated in two World Cups, in 2010 and 2014.



Nagoya Grampus halts Kawasaki Frontale’s eleven consecutive league wins. Former Japanese International, Atsuto Uchida, sets up Kashima Antler’s equalizer on his last game.

Week 12 of Meiji Yasuda J1 League was held over the 22-23 August weekend.

Shimizu S-Pulse and Yokohama FC raised the curtain for this week’s J1 League with goals galore. The visitors, Yokohama FC, took the early lead with a 25-yard stunner from Koki Saito. Although the 19-year-old forward’s effort was nullified by Shota Kaneko at the 44th minute, the pinpoint cross from Maguinho saw Yusuke Minagawa netting the goal before the half-time whistle. However, Yokohama FC were unsatisfied with the lead. The 48th-minute penalty box clearance from Masahiko Inoha saw Yusuke Matsuo extending the lead in just 14 seconds. S-Pulse closed the gap with a long-range effort from Ryo Takeuchi in the additional time, but the game was for Yokohama. The whistle was blown to see the host winning three games consecutive with a jump to 10th place for the time being. The home team suffered back-to-back defeats.

At the Toyota Stadium, Kawasaki Frontale rued over their missed chances, as the host, Nagoya Grampus squeaked by them to frustrate any hope of breaking the longest winning streak in J1 League. It was the table-leaders’ first defeat of the season. Meanwhile, Vegalta Sendai traveled south to rectify its J. League Cup misses against Cerezo Osaka earlier this month. However, the disappointment was replicated for the yellow and blue as the 60th minute winning goal from Tatsuhiro Sakamoto stamped another victory for the Osakans. The host maintained their second place on the ladder.

A convincing win was witnessed at the Ajinomoto Stadium as FC Tokyo stunned Shonan Bellmare with a three-goal haul. Kensuke Nagai’s volley into an empty goal set the stage for the host’s fascinating victory. Colored by Diego Oliveira and Daichi Hara’s finishing touches, the capital city shone with red and blue. The Hiratsuka-based team remained the wooden-spoonist of the table with their six consecutive defeats.

Last year’s second runners-up, Kashima Antlers invited the 2008 AFC Champions League champions, Gamba Osaka. The last-minute equalizer from Kashima’s Tomoya Inukai shared the spoils for both sides. Notably, the former Japanese International, Atsuto Uchida, who called time on his career, came in on as a 16th-minute substitute for his last professional match. The 32-year-old displayed his presence with a set-up for the goal.

At the Saitama Stadium 2002, Urawa Red Diamonds hosted Vissel Kobe with hopes to jump to an AFC Champions League spots. However, a goal from Australian International, Thomas Deng was not enough to clinch any point, as the visitors netted twice through Keijiro Ogawa and Hotaru Yamaguchi. Meanwhile, Yokohama F. Marinos’ Brazilian trio, Marcos Júnior, Júnior Santos, and Erik dazzled the fans with each of them marking their names on the scoresheet. F. Marinos defeated Sanfrecce Hiroshima by 3-1. The game between Oita Trinita and Kashiwa Reysol ended as a goalless draw, with Kashiwa's Michael Olunga failing to extend his goal streaks past eight games.

The match between Sagan Tosu and Consadole Sapporo has been postponed due to COVID-19.