Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 12 Preview – Can Kawasaki Frontale reach 11 victories in a row? Kashiwa’s striker Olunga as well challenges the J1 record of consecutive goals.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 12 will take place on August 22 and 23.

Kawasaki Frontale, who just set a new J1 record with 10 consecutive victories, will travel to the Toyota Stadium to face Nagoya Grampus. The table leaders in the previous round, defeated second place Cerezo Osaka 5-2. With Yu Kobayashi in top form, attackers Kaoru Mitoma and Leandro Damião complete a great attacking trio. Their astonishing offensive football will be their weapon to overcome Nagoya. The home side grabbed three points from the match versus Shonan Bellmare and moved up to third place. They showed resilience throughout the 90 minutes, and won with a goal at the very end of the game. Nagoya have conceded only eight goals in total, which makes them the best defensive pack in the league.

Cerezo Osaka, who experienced a big defeat in Kawasaki, have three days to recover, reorganize, and vent out their frustration in this next round. Expectations are high for manager Lotina. Their rivals Vegalta Sendai have the advantage of coming into this game well rested, since their previous match was postponed and could take a break for a week. However, Vegalta’s attackers need to be inspired in order to top Cerezo’s solid defence.

Urawa Reds moved up to fourth place with two consecutive victories. In this round they will host Vissel Kobe. Their defensive stability has improved, and their offense is gaining momentum. Leonardo who has scored in five games in a row, Aims to be yet again their crucial player. On the other hand, Kobe dropped down to 10th place with no wins in the last three games. Although they can find the net, they concede goals too easily. The condition of Andres Iniesta, who picked an injury in the last game, is also a reason for concern. Expectations are high for Goke Yuta who has shown encouraging signs of improvement.

Kashiwa Reysol will visit Oita Trinita, and of course, All eyes are on Olunga. He has scored  in seven games in a row, and if claims at least one this time as well, he will equal the J1 achieved by Julio Salinas in the 97-98 season, when he scored in eight consecutive matches. Oita showed signs of recovery, and are undefeated in the two previous games, after losing five in a row. They drew 1-1 at Consadole Sapporo in the last round, conceding an equalizer at the end of the match. This time they will surely care to be fully focused until the final whistle.

Kashima Antlers meet Gamba Osaka at home. After struggling in the beginning of the season, they seemed in better shape, but in the last game they lost 1-0 against Yokohama FC. The pressure is on their attackers, who could not find the net in the previous, match. Gamba lost 3-1 against Urawa Reds in the last round, in a game where they could not get into a rhythm and missed several chances. They’ll need to do better to get a positive result out of this match.

FC Tokyo will host Shonan Bellmare. In the previous round, they couldn’t keep the lead and shared points with Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Their offense, featuring Leandro who has scored in two games in a row, is performing well, but their usually solid defense was shaky and needs to regroup. Shonan are at the bottom of the table after five consecutive losses. They can make chances, but can’t turn them into the desired results. Naoki Ishihara, who scored four goals in total despite often being isolate up front, is the one they rely upon for this match.

Yokohama F.Marinos face Sanfrecce Hiroshima at home. In the previous match, they obtained three points against Shimizu S-Pulse, and it was their first victory in three games. It is good news for them  that the new faces Júnior Santos and Daizen Maeda, who joined this summer, already seem to be in good shape. On the other hand, Hiroshima in three last match equalized in additional time to draw with FC Tokyo. They surely hope to display the same tenacity, and grasp their first victory in three games.

Shimizu lost in their last match, and it was their first time in six games. it will be necessary to improve their defense, which conceded four goals. Yokohama FC have been in good shape, with two consecutive victories. In the previous match, they obtained their first clean sheet of the season and defeated Kashima. They now hope for their third consecutive victory.

The match between Sagan Tosu and Consadole Sapporo is postponed due to several players and staff of the home side testing positive for COVID-19.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Shonan Bellmare vs Sagan Tosu postponed

J.LEAGUE has announced that the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE match between Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu, scheduled for Saturday 29 August 2020 at 19:00 JST, has been postponed.

Tosu has suspended their activities until Tuesday 25 August under guidance of the public health center in response to the COVID-19 cases confirmed within the club, and it was decided that there is not enough time to adequately prepare to play against Shonan. The latest PCR tests were done on Monday 17 August for 123 people associated with Tosu, including players, staff and family members, and all have come back negative the next day.

■Match cancelled

Date KO Fixture Venue
29 August
19:00 Shonan
vs Sagan Tosu BMW.S Hiratsuka



Kawasaki Frontale set a new J1 record with 10 consecutive victories by defeating second place Cerezo Osaka. Yokohama F.Marinos prevailed in the “family affair” against Shimizu S-Pulse.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 11 took place on the 19th of August. Table leaders Kawasaki achieved a new J1 record of 10 consecutive victories through a crucial win against Cerezo Osaka.

Kawasaki Frontale hosted Cerezo Osaka. The home side conceded the lead in the 7th minute, but Yasuto Wakizaka pulled one back in the 21st. Kawasaki Frontale then took the lead through a goal from Akihiro Ienaga before the end of the first half, and added three more in the second half, to win the match 5-2. They now have 31 points in 11 games, 10 more than second-place Cerezo.

Nagoya Grampus, traveled to Shonan Bellmare, and returned with three points thanks to a late own-goal. They now count 20 points and moved up to third place. Urawa Reds were at Gamba Osaka and took the lead with a goal from Takahiro Sekine in the 24th minute, before Leonardo added one in the 34th. In the second half, Yuki Muto scored a third goal. Although Reds conceded one, they won the match and moved up to fourth place thanks to two consecutive wins.

Vissel Kobe hosted Kashiwa Reysol. Away side Kashiwa were leading the game 2-1 with goals from Shuto Nakama and Olunga. However, they conceded an equalizer in the 89th minute. When the game seemed over, Masatoshi Mihara found the winning goal for Reysol in the 94th minute. Sanfrecce Hiroshima met FC Tokyo at home. They were down 3-2, but Hayao Kawabe equalized in the 96th minute, saving his team from defeat.

Yokohama F.Marinos, traveled to Shimizu, where they won the match 4-3. New faces Júnior Santos and Daizen Maeda, who joined this summer, proved their value. Consadole Sapporo vs Oita Trinita ended in a 1-1 draw. The away side took the lead with a goal from Kohei Isa just before the end of the first half. But in the 89th minute, Lucas Fernandes found the net and made it 1-1. Finally, Yokohama FC managed to get through without conceding a goal and beat Kashima Antlers 1-0.

The match between Vegalta Sendai and Sagan Tosu was postponed due to several players and staff of the visitors testing positive for COVID-19.



Kawasaki Frontale’s attack versus Cerezo Osaka’s defence: a must-watch six-pointer between the two top teams. And will the clash between Shimizu and Yokohama F.Marinos be a goal-fest?

Match-day 11 of Meiji Yasuda J1 League is taking place only a few days after the previous round, and features some big matches.

J1 League leaders Kawasaki Frontale have won the last nine matches, and this week they face the challenge coming from second-place Cerezo Osaka, who are chasing nine points behind. The former has scored the most goals in the league and the latter conceded the least goals: which of these factors will be decisive for victory? Moreover, rookies Kaoru Mitoma (Kawasaki) and Jun Nishikawa (C. Osaka) are on fire, adding thrill to the big match. Both teams are in fine form, and so 90 minutes of great football are to be expected.

Third-place Gamba Osaka host Urawa Reds. Since the home side’s match against Sagan Tosu scheduled for last weekend was postponed, it will be their first league match in 11 days. The imported duo formed by Ademilson and Patrick could play a decisive role. Visitors Urawa kept a clean sheet last week and picked up three points against Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Brazilian striker Leonardo is in great form, having scored five goals in the last four matches.

Fourth-place FC Tokyo will travel to Hiroshima after defeating Nagoya Grampus 1-0 on Saturday. The solid defense that kept a clean sheet in the last two matches could be a key factor. Sanfrecce Hiroshima were unable to score a goal despite having 20 shots against Urawa, and their fans are waiting for Leandro Pereira to end his five-game draught.

Fifth-place Nagoya Grampus will be away at Shonan Bellmare. They could not overcome FC Tokyo’s defense and lost 1-0 last Saturday. Their attackers are eager to deliver after failing to do so four days earlier. Shonan have lost the last four matches and sit at the bottom of the table. However, they showed great spirit in the second half against Yokohama FC, and that strong character could help them to turn their season around.

Vissel Kobe will meet Kashiwa Reysol at home. They failed to win the last two matches and drew with Kashima Antlers on Sunday, conceding an equalizer in the last minute. Improving the defense that gave away several goals in each of the last four matches will be an important theme. Meanwhile, Kashiwa suffered the first defeat in six matches last weekend, at the hands of Cerezo Osaka. Although Olunga is still in a great form, scoring in six consecutive matches, he might need more help from other attackers.

Yokohama FC meet Kashima Antlers this week after ending their five-match losing streak by comfortably topping Shonan Bellmare. Yusuke Matsuo, who impressed with his skillful dribbling and two goals, could be a key player this week as well. Kashima Antlers are undefeated for four matches and completely past their initial poor form. The performance of the rookie trio formed by Ryotaro Araki, Yuta Matsumura and Itsuki Someno deserves some attention.

There is a strong connection between Shimizu S-Pulse and Yokohama F.Marinos, as Shimizu boss Peter Cklamovski was an assistant coach at F.Marinos until last season. He is now trying to build a similar style of football at Shimizu. Yokohama F.Marinos are ahead in terms of maturity, but Shimizu are adapting to their new style of football and are unbeaten in five matches. As both managers know well the strength and weakness of their rival, it could be an exciting match, possibly with with a lot of goals.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo will meet Oita Trinita at home. They were heavily defeated by Kawasaki on Saturday, which means they lost the last three matches, conceding a total of 12 goals — a problem that Petrovic needs to fix as soon as possible. Oita have secured the first win in the last seven matches by defeating Yokoahama F.Marinos. They will try to keep on with their solid defense and scoring goals from speedy counterattacks.

The match between Vegalta Sendai and Sagan Tosu is postponed due to several players and staff of the visitors testing positive for COVID-19.



Kawasaki Frontale score six in Sapporo to tie the J1 record of nine consecutive victories! Cerezo Osaka moves up to second place!

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 10 took place on the 15th and 16th of August. Table leaders Kawasaki defeated Consadole Sapporo, a victory that marked a remarkable record: nine consecutive victories.

Kawasaki took the lead in the 35th minute through a goal from Shintaro Kurumaya. Kaoru Mitoma then added a second in the 50th minute, Leandro Damião made it 3-0 in the 55th minute, and Kaoru Mitoma found the goal again in the 63rd minute. Despite the home side returning one goal in the 79th minute, Yu Kobayashi, scored two goals in quick succession that led Frontale to a 6-1 victory. Kawasaki solidified their lead and now count 28 points out of 30. 

Cerezo Osaka visited Kashiwa Reysol. Bruno Mendes found the net in the 5th minute, and the visitors were then helped by an own-goal in the 55th minute. Finally, rookie Jun Nishikawa scored the first goal of his career in the 87th minute. Despite top scorer Olunga pulling one back just before the final whistle, his 11th goal of the season in J1 was of little use, as Cerezo moved up to second place. FC Tokyo met Nagoya Grampus at home. The capital team grabbed the victory thanks to a goal from Leandro in the 33rd minute.

Urawa Reds defeated Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0 with a goal from Leonardo in the 5th minute. Oita Trinita topped Yokohama F.Marions at home, the goal from veteran Tatsuya Tanaka giving the victory to his team after a five games losing streak.

Yokohama FC hosted Shonan Bellmare. The home-side went on a goal-rush, scoring four in the first 20 minutes, starting with Yusuke Matsuo's double. Although they conceded two goals in the second half, they earned three points for the first time in seven games. On the other hand, Shonan, lost now four in a row, and still sit at the bottom of the table. Vegalta Sendai drew against Shimizu S-Pulse 0-0. Both teams failed to create scoring chances, and ended up with a scoreless draw. Sagan Tosu vs Gamba Osaka was canceled due to some at Sagan Tosu testing positive at COVID-19 exams.

Finally, Kashima Antlers hosted Vissel Kobe. They conceded a goal, scored by Dankler, but Everaldo equalized in the 38th minute. The away side took the lead again through a goal from Yuta Goke. However, in additional time, rookie Ryotaro Araki made it 2-2, with the first goal of his professional career.



Kawasaki Frontale travel to Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo to extend their eight-match winning streak. Can Cerezo Osaka’s defense stop Kashiwa Reysol’s goal-machine Olunga?

Eight games of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 10 will take place on August 15 and 16. The match between Sagan Tosu and Gamba Osaka has been postponed after several Tosu players and staff tested positive for COVID-19 (Tosu’s matches on Match-day 11 and 12 also have been postponed).

League leaders Kawasaki, who are on an eight-match winning streak, will travel to Sapporo this weekend. They have no apparent weakness either in defense or offence at the moment, and made a quick job of Oita Trinita, winning 2-0 effortlessly on the last matchday. The only concern for Kawasaki is that playmaker Ryota Oshima is suspended. Sapporo have lost the last two matches and need to improve their defence, since they conceded three goals in both fixtures.

The clash between fifth-place Kashiwa Reysol and third-place Cerezo Osaka is another big match. While the former boasts the second-best attacking record in the league, the latter has the best defense. Can Cerezo stop current top-scorer Olunga, who found the net in the last five matches?FC Tokyo and Nagoya Grampus are also in the title race, although the Tokyoites are losing steam as they failed to win any of their last four games. The attackers need to step up after the goalless performance last week. The final match of Sei Muroya, who will join German side Hannover, is something that FC Tokyo fans would not want to miss. Nagoya enjoyed a 6-2 win against Urawa Reds last week and are on high spirits, with Naoki Maeda on fire, after scoring four goals.

Urawa will try to bounce back against Sanfrecce Hiroshima at home. Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki has a difficult task, as he needs to quickly fix the defensive flaws. Hiroshima are improving their form, winning the last two games and keeping clean sheets. Another solid performance is to be expected from Jofuku’s men.

Vegalta Sendai meet Shimizu S-Pulse at home, after ending a three-game losing streak by beating Vissel Kobe last week. Their attacking unit, featuring Shuhei Akasaki can play a decisive role. Shimizu also seem over their worst days, unbeaten now in four games and defeating Sapporo 3-1 last week. As their offence is also starting to work well, this fixture might produce a lot of goals.

Kashima Antlers host Vissel Kobe. The two consecutive wins for the home side show that the struggle that characterized their beginning of their season might be over, and Everaldo is leading the team, scoring five goals in the last three matches. Vissel Kobe are coming from losing a fierce match against Sendai. Conceding less goals will be essential to pick up more points for Iniesta and his team-mates.

Oita Trinita are struggling to end their losing five-match streak. Last week they were completely overwhelmed by Kawasaki, registering only one shot in 90 minutes. Although they are able to control possession, they need to show more hunger when getting near the opposition’s goal. Yokohama F.Marinos as well are not in their best form, but are showing some signs of improvement, especially in defense. Since they are having difficulty in finishing, the pressure is high on their strikers including Ado Onaiwu, who scored in the last match.

At the bottom of the table, 17th-place Yokohama FC will face 18th-place Shonan Bellmare. Koki Saito is displaying impressive performances and could be a key player to solve Yokohama’s finishing problem. Shonan also struggle due to poor attacking ability and lost their last three games. Not many goals are to be expected in this match, and the first team to find the net might take the whole three points.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE -3 matches of Sagan Tosu postponed-

J.LEAGUE has announced that the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE matches scheduled below will be postponed, following a few players and staff of Sagan Tosu tested positive for COVID-19. The league and the club will work under guidance of the administrative authority to prevent further spread of the virus and matches of Tosu will be not be held until safety is secured. Further details of the matches postponed will be announced when determined.

■Matches postponed

Date KO Fixture Venue
15 August
19:00 Sagan Tosu vs Gamba Osaka EKI.S
19 August
19:30 Vegalta Sendai vs Sagan Tosu Yurtec.S
23 August
18:00 Sagan Tosu vs Hokkaido
Consadole Sapporo



Unstoppable Kawasaki Frontale seize eight straight victory. Nagoya Grampus win big thanks to four goals by Naoki Maeda.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 9 took place on August 18th and 19th. Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale defeated Oita Trinita, and nailed their eight consecutive victory.

Kawasaki took the lead through two goals from Kaoru Mitoma and Leandro Damião, scored in the 5th and the 24th minute. Though they could not add any, they easily controlled the game and won it 2-0. Kawasaki have 25 points out of 27, while Oita have now lost five in a row.

Gamba Osaka hosted Yokohama FC. The home side got the first goal of the match, courtesy of Ademilson in the 34th minute. They then conceded, but Patrick won it for Gamba with a dramatic goal in the additional time, meaning the Osakans are in second place. Nagoya Grampus produced a raging goal-rush against Urawa Reds. Naoki Maeda played the leading role, scoring his first in the 9th minute and adding one only a minute later. In the 38th minute he claimed a hat-trick, and he even added another in the second half. The final score was a thunderous 6-2.

Kashiwa Reysol traveled to Yokohama F.Marinos and their top-scorer Olunga struck in the 62nd minute. However, the away side conceded in the 78th minute, the match ended in a 1-1 draw, and Reysol winning streak stopped at four. Vegalta Sendai won at Vissel Kobe, their first 3-pointer in seven games.

Shimizu S-Pulse, hosted Consadole Sapporo. Shota Kaneko found the net at the end of the first half. The home side conceded an equalizer, but Renato Augusto made it 2-1 in the 85th minute and in additional time Carlinhos Júnio added another. Kashima Antlers defeated Sagan Tosu 2-0 through two goals scored by Ryuji Izumi and Everaldo. It was the first time in the season that Antlers managed two wins in a row.

The big clash between Cerezo Osaka and FC Tokyo ended in a scoreless draw, with both teams creating only few chances. Sanfrecce Hiroshima met Shonan Bellmare at home and prevailed, thanks to Yuya Asano scoring the winner. They won two in a row, and moved up to 8th place. The visitors lost they third in a row and could not escape from the bottom of the table.



Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 9 Preview – Can Kawasaki Frontale beat Oita Trinita to extend their seven-game winning streak? Don’t miss out the big clash between Cerezo Osaka and FC Tokyo

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 9 will take place on August 8 and 9. With almost a fourth of the season completed and the title race starting to shape up, the battle for the championship is heating up.

League leaders Kawasaki Frontale try to extend their seven-game winning streak as they host Oita Trinita. Last week they struggled against Gamba Osaka but picked up three points in the end by showing the ability to win a difficult game with a narrow margin. Ryota Oshima continues to play an important role not only in creating chances but also in finishing. The away side Oita are in a poor form, losing the last four games and conceding four goals in two consecutive matches. It will be a difficult task to stop Kawasaki’s powerful attack, but patience and counterattacks could give them a chance.

Second-place Cerezo Osaka meet FC Tokyo at home after beating Shonan Bellmare 1-0 last week, thanks to the winner scored by Hiroshi Kiyotake. Since the best defense in the league remains very solid, this game probably will not see many goals. FC Tokyo have not won the last three games and need to improve their defense which conceded six goals during that period.

Third-place Gamba Osaka face Yokohama FC at home. They lost the big match against Kawasaki last week, ending their four-game winning streak. As their patient defense is working well, attackers need to step up to help them with goals. Yokohama FC are having a hard time, losing four games in a row. Their attack needs more firepower because they have not scored in the last three games. Perhaps Leandro Domingues, who made his first appearance of the season, could bring a change.

Kashiwa Reysol are now at the fourth place after four consecutive victories and they will travel to Nissan Stadium to face Yokohama F.Marinos this weekend. Olunga is in a great form and leading the team, scoring 7 goals in the last four games. It’s hard to stop the Kenyan striker who boasts incredible finishing. Meanwhile, Yokohama F.Marinos are showing signs of improvement and defeated Vegalta Sendai last week. Since the fitness of last year’s top scorer Marcos Junior is getting better, the performance of the two foreign strikers could directly affect the result.

Nagoya Grampus lost to Kashiwa Reysol on the last match-day and suffered the first defeat of the season. Their defense remains reliable, but the attacking department leave something to be desired. Expectations are high for Mu Kanazaki who is yet to score his first goal of the season. The away side Urawa Reds failed to beat Shimizu S-Pulse last week, conceding an equalizer late in the game. Leonardo has scored in the last two games and he could be a key player to break Nagoya’s solid defense.

Shimizu S-Pulse host Hokkaido Consaole Sapporo. They had a rough start of the season but have not been beaten for three games. Shimizu showed strong character to equalize in the last minute against Urawa and they would want to show the same strength at home as well. Sapporo suffered their first defeat since the restart of the league against Vissel Kobe last week. Although they have a lot of injuries among attackers, Takuma Arano is starting to produce results as a striker.

Kashima Antlers comfortably defeated Oita Trinita on the last match-day to claim their second victory of the season. This week, they meet Sagan Tosu at home. Brazilian striker Everaldo is in a great form, scoring five goals in the last four matches. Tosu also showed improvement by beating FC Tokyo to register their first win of the 2020 J1 campaign. The performance of young players like Kaisei Ishii is giving energy to the team. 

Vissel Kobe meet Vegalta Sendai at home. They picked up the first three points in three games last week by beating Sapporo. Hotaru Yamaguchi, who scored a brace, is a player to watch. Sendai have not won the last six matches, losing the last three. They might need a big tactical change to solve both their defensive and offensive issues.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima meet Shonan Bellmare at home after securing their first win in five matches last week by beating Yokohama FC. The power of youngsters such as Shunki Higashi will be an important factor for their potential comeback. Shonan Bellmare sit at the bottom of the table with only one victory. In the serious shortage of goals, expectations are high for veteran striker Naoki Ishihara.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Nagoya Grampus rescheduled

The 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Nagoya Grampus, which has been postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), has been rescheduled as follows.


Date KO Fixture Venue TV/
TBA Sanfrecce
vs Nagoya

*Further details will be announced in early October.



Details of the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE

J.LEAGUE announced the details of the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE matches scheduled from September onwards. Please see below links for details. Further details are scheduled to be announced in early October.


  Announcement Details
2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE 14th – 25th sec.*1 ・Fixture schedule  (incl. kick-off time)
・TV/Internet Broadcast
26th – 34th sec. ・Fixture schedule*2
2020 MEIJI YASUDA J2 LEAGUE 16th – 29th sec. ・Fixture schedule  (incl. kick-off time)
・TV/Internet Broadcast
30th – 42nd sec. ・Fixture schedule*2
2020 MEIJI YASUDA J3 LEAGUE 13th – 24th sec. ・Fixture schedule  (incl. kick-off time)
・TV/Internet Broadcast
25th – 34th sec. ・Fixture schedule*2

*1 Include 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE (sec. 29) matches between Urawa Reds vs. F.C. Tokyo and Vissel Kobe vs. Nagoya Grampus 
*2 Possible dates to hold the matches



Oshima’s strike leads Kawasaki Frontale past Gamba Osaka, Sagan Tosu claim first victory of the season

Kasawaki Frontale extended their winning streak to seven matches by topping Gamba Osaka in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 8, which took place on August 1 and 2. 

The only goal in the big match between two title contenders was scored in the 48th minute by Ryota Oshima. A 1-0 win meant Kawasaki have won seven consecutive matches, that earned them a five-point lead at the top of the league table.

Kashiwa Reysol came back with a precious 1-0 from Nagoya, thanks to Olunga’s winner in the 71st minute. As the visitors climb up to the fourth place after winning the last four games, Grampus suffered their first defeat of the season. Cerezo Osaka broke the deadlock against Shonan Bellmare away when Hiroshi Kiyotake netted his first goal of the season in the 72nd minute, and defended the lead until the end. Cerezo now are back in the second place, after their first win in three games.

Yokohama F.Marinos defeated Vegalta Sendai in a dramatic fashion as Marcos Júnior scored the winner deep into additional time. Sanfrecce Hiroshima comfortably beat Yokohama FC 2-0 with goals by Tsukasa Morishima and Douglas Vieira. It was Hiroshima’s first victory in five matches, and the fourth defeat in a row for Yokohama FC. Urawa Reds drew 1-1 with Shimizu S-Pulse as Leonardo’s goal in the 54th minute was canceled out by an equalizer in the 86th minute.

Sagan Tosu traveled to the Japanese capital to face FC Tokyo. Kaisei Ishii gave them the lead in the 30th minute, and after the home side equalized, Ryota Morishita again put the away side ahead before half-time. Cho Dong-geon added another goal to lead Tosu to a 3-2 win, their first of the season. Kashima Antlers cruised through a comfortable 4-1 win against Oita Trinita away, thanks to Everaldo’s hat-trick. Their second win of the season pulled them up to the 12th place

The clash between Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Vissel Kobe produced a total of five goals.Takuma Arano gave Sapporo the lead in the 29th minute, but Kobe equalized only two minutes later through Hotaru Yamaguchi’s strike and Douglas completed the comeback in the 45th minute. Arano scored his second early in the second half, but Yamaguchi also added one more goal, to help Kobe bring home the three points.



The Big Match is here: table leaders Kawasaki Frontale vs second place Gamba Osaka! Plus, can Nagoya Grampus’ mighty defence, stop top scorer Olunga?

Meiji Yasuda J1 league Match-day 8 takes place over two days, on August 1st and 2nd. From this round, the regulation aimed to prevent COVID-19 contagion is eased and more matches between East and West Japan clubs will take place.

The main game is of course the leaders’ battle between the “Western Yokozuna” Gamba Osaka and the “Eastern Yokozuna” Kawasaki Frontale. The latter are Undefeated and will be challenged by Gamba, who sit in the second place only three points behind.Gamba moved up to the second in the table thanks to four consecutive wins. They earned a significant victory against Vissel Kobe in the last round and their top striker Takashi Usami has been improving. Will he find the net against the table leaders?

Kawasaki come from six straight wins. However, there is a bit of concern as the last two matches saw them conceding the first goal of the game. Despite that, their strength and capacity to come back in the second half is overwhelming, and Gamba will have to be vigil until the end of the match.

Third place Nagoya Grampus host Kashiwa Reysol. In the previous round, Grampus’ match versus Hiroshima was canceled as some members of the team and staff were confirmed positive at a COVID-19 test, and it might be seen if such experience will influence their performance. Their steady defenders, who have kept clean sheets in  their last three games will face Kashiwa’s powerful attackers. Reysol are in high spirits, coming from three consecutive victories. Since the league restarted, their forwards are in great shape, and have scored 12 goals. Olunga, who bagged a hat-trick in the previous match, and Hayato Nakama who has scored in three games in a row will be the players to watch.

Fourth place FC Tokyo host Sagan Tosu. The capital’s team hasn’t lost in their recent four games but they raked up only two points in the last two. On the other hand, Tosu haven’t won any match yet, and sit in the 15th place. They now started to score goals and some shy signs of improvement can be detected up front. Kaisei Ishii, who scored his first goal in the last match, will surely try to keep up with his good form.

Cerezo Osaka, who also are in fourth place will meet Shonan Bellmare. The Osakans come from two consecutive draws, but they boost a very solid defense. The issue remains their scoring ability: Ken Tokura and other attackers still must prove they can contribute consistently to the team’s victories. Shonan grabbed their first three points in the last round, but had experienced a huge lost against Kawasaki in the previous one. Nevertheless, it was good for Bellmare that Tarik finally opened his account in Japan. Expectations are high for him and Naoki Ishihara, who is in good form.

Urawa Reds host Shimizu S-Pulse. In the previous match, the home side defeated Yokohama FC and stopped their losing streak at two games. Veteran players such as Tomoaki Makino are expected to play an important role in this game. Shimizu seized their long-awaited first victory of the season on the last match-day by beating Oita Trinita. Their attacking football finally worked well and they scored four goals, which is the best record of the season for them, although they also conceded two.

Vegalta Sendai meet Yokohama F.Marinos at home. They haven’t won in five games and lost the last two. Sendai’s largest concern is about their defense, that conceded five goals in their last match. Marinos also lost in the previous game, against Consadole Sapporo. Their challenge is to improve the management of their high defensive line. Can they play an attacking match, while also controlling the opponents’ attacks?

Yokohama FC are losing vigor after a good start, and come from three consecutive losses. During these games, they conceded 11 goals. In order to get out of the situation, they need to manage to concede less goals, especially in the second half. On the other hand, Hiroshima will play their first game in 10 days since their previous match against Nagoya was postponed. They have not won in the last four games and currently lost two in a row. Will this long interval impair even further their struggling attacking unit? Be that as it may, Sanfrecce have defeated Nagoya Grampus in the Levain Cup this season, and will try to do it again.

Oita Trinita await Kashima Antlers at home. In the previous round, they allowed Shimizu to claim their first victory of the season, which also means that Trinita have now lost three in a row. The main concern is their defense, which conceded nine goals in the last three games. Kashima drew 2-2 with FC Tokyo in the last round. Their attack showed signs of recovery in the second half, and Everaldo, who finally seems fit, could be a key-player in this match.

Consadole Sapporo vs Vissel Kobe is the only match that will be played on Sunday. Sapporo defeated Yokohama F.Marinos in the previous match-day, which also means that the Hokkaido team are undefeated in six games. Although Suzuki Musashi is still absent due to injury, Consadole found goals from various patterns, and are likely to entertain with their lively football in their third consecutive home game. On the other hand, Kobe come from two games in which they could not score, and Douglas, Kyogo Furuhashi and the other attackers need to found back the way to the net.



Kawasaki Frontale’s intriguing attacking football brings them to the top, while reigning champions Yokohama F.Marinos struggle. [Meiji Yasuda J1 League Monthly Report: February/July]

Meiji Yasuda J1 League started on February 21st. However due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the league had to be suspended for about four months. It restarted on July 4th and has now reached Match-day 7.

In recent rounds, Kawasaki Frontale picked up pace, and seem to be the most serious candidate to claim back the title. Despite a disappointing opening game, in which they drew with Sagan Tosu, they now nailed six consecutive victories after the restart. Their three-top system is working well and produces an astonishing offensive brand of football. In fact, Frontale have already scored 20 goals in seven games, and from Match-day 3, they have found the net three or more times for five games in a row. Moreover, they also boost good defensive stability, and it is hard to see what could stop them now.

Gamba Osaka as well re in high spirits. After the suspension, they sputtered a little in their early games, but from Match-day 4 on, they have obtained four consecutive victories. Gamba are a tough team to face, and now their star striker Takashi Usami is finding his best form. The next opponents are Kawasaki, in a game that can tell the fans a lot about these two teams.

Nagoya Grampus also have been in top condition. Their last game against Sanfrecce Hiroshima was postponed, as some members of the team and staff were confirmed positive at a COVID-19 test. However, they have remained unbeaten with four wins and two draws in six games. Under the leadership of manager Massimo Ficcadenti, they already mastered strong defensive organization and have kept a clean sheets in their last three games. The fact that new players such as Hiroyuki Abe and others immediately fit into the team’s mechanisms also contributed to their convincing performance.

On the other hand, Yokohama F.Marinos, the champions of the past season, are having a difficult time. Having lost in the opening match against Gamba Osaka, they did not show many signs of improvement even after league’s restart. F.Marinos seem capable to find their way to the net, but compare to their previous, winning season, their defense concedes more. If their problems at the back can’t be solved, it is hard to imagine them as competitors for a second title in a row.

The powerhouse of Japanese football, Kashima Antlers, are in an even more complicated situation. New manager Zago is aiming to implement a new style, but the team seemingly struggled to metabolize his instructions, and started the season with four losses in a row. They seized their first victory against Yokohama F.Marions on Match-day 5, but again failed to obtained points in the two following games and now sit at the bottom of the table with Shimizu S-Pulse. Although, their offensive game has gradually improved, they still concede easily. New signed players haven’t showed their full potential so far, and Antlers may need more time to fulfill their potential.

Another three struggling teams are Shimizu S-pulse, which also have changed play-style, and are taking a long time to achieve results; Sagan Tosu, who seem to lack scoring ability; and Shonan Bellmare, another club with defensive problems.

Kashiwa Reysol returned to J1 this season, and defeated Consadole Sapporo in the opening game, then went on to lose three consecutive games after the suspension. Despite that unfortunate period, they returned to form and now seized three consecutive wins since Match-day 5. They scored 18 goals which is the second best offensive record in the league. Their Kenyan striker Olunga has been a crucial player has been, and he is at the moment the top scorer of the league, with 8 goals, including a hat-trick he bagged in the last match against Vegalta Sendai. Hayato Nakama and other new players have proved their abilities to the full, and the team performed consistently well despite the tight schedule.

Finally, Yokohama FC, who returned to J1 after 13 years, seized the first victory against Kashiwa in Match-day 3 and seemed in good condition in the early stages of the season. But from Match-day 5 on, they failed to claim points for three consecutive games. They can control possession, but still struggle to find their way to the goal. However, they feature many talented young players such as Koki Saito who can be the key to the reversal fortunes for the newly-promoted team.



Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale nail sixth consecutive victory, in Kashiwa Olunga nets a hat-trick as Reysol top Vegalta Sendai.

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 7 took place on July 26th, but only eight games could be played. The match between Hiroshima and Nagoya was postponed because  some members of the team and staff were confirmed positive at a COVID-19 test.

Kawasaki Frontale, who hosted Shonan Bellmare, conceded in the 57th minute, but Miki Yamane equalized only four minutes later. The home side took the lead through two goals coming from Kaoru Mitoma and Ao Tanaka, and went on to win the game 3-1—their sixth consecutive victory. FC Tokyo traveled to Kashima Antlers. After being behind, they turned the match around with two goals coming from corner-kicks. However, Tokyo conceded again in the 75th minute and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Gamba Osaka won 2-0 at Vissel Kobe. Yuji Ono scored in the 62nd minute and striker Takashi Usami netted the second goal in the 86th minute, helping Gamba to move up to second place in the table. Kashiwa Reysol earned their third victory in a row by defeating Vegalta Sendai 5-1 through an incredibly offensive football display, with Olunga bagging a hat-trick.

Consadole Sapporo, hosted Yokohama F.Marinos at home and conceded a quarter of an hour into the game. However, in a matter of minutes, Yoshiaki Komai equalized and Takuma Arano made it 2-1. The home side added another in the last minute and claimed a convincing 3-1 victory. Urawa Reds beat Yokohama FC 2-0 through goals scored by their Brazilian duo, Leonardo and Ewerton: the losing streak stopped at two games.

Oita Trinita traveled to Shimizu S-Pulse, where the home side took the lead with Hwang Seak-Ho in the 41st minute and Carlinhos Júnio scored another goal in the 57th minute. After that, the lead was extended to a 4-goal margin, but Oita managed to pull two back. However, Shimizu held on and got the long-awaited first victory of this season: 4-2 was the final score being. Finally, Sagan Tosu took the lead in the 51th minute with Kaisei Ishii scoring the first goal of his career. However, they conceded in the 75 minute and were forced to share points with Cerezo Osaka, again failing to win their first match of the season.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Nagoya Grampus postponed

J.LEAGUE announced that the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Nagoya Grampus, scheduled on Sunday 26 JULY 2020, has been postponed after 3 cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed at Nagoya. An alternative date for the match will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.

■Match postponed

Sunday 26 July


Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Nagoya Grampus

EDION Stadium.H



Meiji Yasuda J1 League, Match-day 7 Preview – Will Kawasaki Frontale extend their five-match winning streak? Nagoya Grampus face Sanfrecce Hiroshima amid injury concerns

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 7 takes place on July 26, only three days after the previous round.

League leaders Kawasaki Frontale meet Shonan Bellmare at home. They came from behind to defeat Vegalta Sendai on Wednesday to achieve their fifth consecutive win. Yu Kobayashi is in a great from, scoring four goals in the two matches after returning from injury, and could once again be a key player. Shonan seized their first win of the season on the last match-day by beating Kashima Antlers. Good finishing from Naoki Ishihara, who scored two goals in the last two matches, will be crucial for the visitors.

Nagoya Grampus are now second in the table after winning three consecutive matches, and they face Sanfrecce Hiroshima away. While their solid defense kept a clean sheet in the last three matches, Hiroyuki Abe, Sho Inagaki and Takuji Yonemoto all got injured on Wednesday. Since it is unclear whether they will be available this weekend, the depth of the team will be tested. Meanwhile, Hiroshima failed to win in the last four matches. The attacking department, which produced only two goals during such period, needs to step up.

FC Tokyo failed to extend their two-match winning streak when they had a midweek draw at Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. However, they raked up a point thanks to a late equalizer, and it would be important to continue to show the same resilience against Kashima. Antlers had claimed their first win of the season last week but lost to Shonan Bellmare afterwards. Since the struggling attacking unit is even more powerless with Ayase Ueda’s injury, Zago’s management skill will be under the microscope.

The Hanshin derby between Vissel Kobe and Gamba Osaka is one of the most interesting matches of the weekend. Kobe are showing consistency and are undefeated in four matches. After the goalless draw with Cerezo Osaka on the last match-day, fans are still waiting for Andres Iniesta’s first goal of the season. Meanwhile, Gamba Osaka are improving their form, winning the last three matches. They are able to play patiently, and grab three points by narrow margin victories, as proven by their 1-0 win against Hiroshima on Wednesday. This time they need to control Kobe’s attack through solid defense and take advantage of the chances they might create.

Cerezo Osaka travel to Sagan Tosu. While they are steadily picking up points, thanks to the best defense in the league, Cerezo’s attacking power leaves something to be desired. Yoichiro Kakitani is yet to score any goals this season but this weekend could be a turning point. Sagan Tosu have not won any match yet and currently sit in the 16th place. In the last round, Riki Harakawa has finally scored the team’s first goal of the season.

Kashiwa Reysol are improving their form, winning two consecutive matches after they had lost three in a row. In addition to the current top scorer Olunga, who scored five so far, new signing Hayato Nakama and Yuta Kamiya will catalyze the attention of the fans in their home match against Vegalta Sendai this weekend. The visitors failed to defend their two-goal lead against Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday. While their attack is working well, they need some adjustment to their defense, which conceded five goals in the last two matches.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo challenges Yokohama F.Marinos at home. On the last match-day, they drew 1-1 with FC Tokyo. As they tied in their last three matches, during which Musashi Suzuki has been absent due to injury, they need to work on their finishing to find a winner. Yokohama F.Marinos claimed their second victory of the season on Wednesday, claiming the Yokohama derby. It was a triumph marked by four goals and a clean sheet, that could give them great momentum.

Yokohama FC and Urawa Reds both lost their last match 4-0. They might start carefully, reflecting on the lessons learned. Yokohama FC’s largest concern is their defense, that conceded nine goals in the last two matches. Urawa have problem with their firepower, after failing to score in the last two matches. With both team going through a rough period, winning this match could make a big difference.

Finally, Shimizu S-Pulse, who are yet to win and sit at the bottom of the table, meet Oita Trinita at home. On Wednesday, the home side stopped the five-game losing streak by drawing with Sagan Tosu. Could it be the beginning of their comeback? Meanwhile, Oita are winless in three matches and lost to Nagoya 3-0 in the last match-day. Their fine build-up work is still there, but more versatile attack is needed to increase their scoring ability.



Table leader Kawasaki Frontale come from behind, Yokohama F.Marinos score four to secure Yokohama derby

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 6 took place on July 22, and Kawasaki Frontale extended their winning streak to five matches by defeating Vegalta Sendai.

Kawasaki had a difficult start as home side Sendai took a two-goal lead in the first half, but Yu Kobayashi and Miki Yamane found the net in the 58th and 59th minute to quickly level the score. Kobayashi scored again in the 68th minute to complete the comeback, and Frontale remained at the top of the table thanks to the 3-2 win. FC Tokyo drew 1-1 with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo away from home as Sei Muroya grabbed an equalizer in the 88th minute to cancel out the goal Sapporo had scored in the first half.

Nagoya Grampus traveled to Oita Trinita and opened their account with Yutaka Yoshida’s goal in the 31st minute. Yuichi Maruyama and Takuji Yonemoto extended the lead in the 48th and 73rd minute to help the team secure a comfortable 3-0 win. With three consecutive wins, Nagoya jumped up to the second place. The clash between Cerezo Osaka and Vissel Kobe ended in a goalless draw.

The Yokohama derby between Yokohama F.Marinos and Yokohama FC featured four goals, all scored by the defending champions. After breaking the deadlock with an own goal in the 31st minute, Marcos Junior and his teammates added three more in the second half. Gamba Osaka defeated Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0, well defending the sole goal scored by Genta Miura right before half time. Kashiwa Reysol topped Urawa Reds 4-0, thanks to goals by Richardson, Olunga, Hayato Nakama and Yuta Kamiya.

Shonan Bellmare claimed their first win of the season by beating Kashima Antlers 1-0 at home, as Naoki Ishihara scored the winner in the 66th minute. Sagan Tosu and Shimizu S-Pulse also tried to seize their first three points of 2020. Away side Shimizu took the lead in the 19th minute with Carlinhos Junior’s header, but Riki Harakawa equalized for Tosu in the 35th. They both failed to add another goal in the second half and had to be content with a point each.



Meiji Yasuda J1 League, Match-day 6 Preview – Long awaited home game for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Yokohama Derby on this midweek’s menu

Match-day 6 of MEIJI YASUDA J1 League will be played on Wednesday, July 22nd. With little time to rest, the demanding schedule will test players and managers.

Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale, coming from four wins in a row, travel to Sendai. They displayed astonishing offensive skills, with 14 goals scored in four games so far. In the previous match, playing against Yokohama FC, they bagged five, including returning from injury Yu Kobayashi’s brace. On the other hand, Sendai in their last match could not capitalize on their two goals’ advantage and ended up sharing points with Consadole Sapporo, due to lack of focus in the final minutes.

FC Tokyo defeated Urawa Reds and rose to the 2nd spot in the table. This Wednesday, they will travel to Sapporo with their attacking Brazilian-trio in high spirits. This will be the first home game for Sapporo this season, and surely the home side will want to show the fans a toughness already displayed in the previous away matches.

Third place Cerezo Osaka host Vissel Kobe at home. They returned from Hiroshima with three points, and side-attacker Tatsuhiro Sakamoto is their key-player at the moment. Kobe seem to be improving, and they defeated Shimizu S-Pulse in the previous match. Can Kyogo Furuhashi, who scored four goals so far, take on successfully Cerezo’s defense?

Undefeated Nagoya Grampus will visit Oita Trinita. They now kept clean sheets for two games in a row. Naoki Maeda proved to be a game-changer, and his contribution might once again be crucial. On the other hand, Oita haven’t won in the last two matches. Expectations are high for new faces Daiki Watari, who netted his first goal, and Kei Chinen.

Urawa Reds host Kashiwa after they could not score and lost their first game of the season in the previous round. On the other side, Kashiwa Reysol topped Shonan Bellmare and halted their losing streak at three. Striker Olunga and newcomers such as Hayato Nakama did well; however, the defensive mechanisms still need some oiling.

The first Yokohama Derby in 13 years as well is a remarkable fixture in this round, despite both Yokohama FC and Yokohama F.Marinos losing in their previous matches. Although both teams do well up front, they concede too much in the back, and the table is set for a goal galore. The last time the teams met, in the 2007 season, they won a game each, but Yokohama F.Marinos’ victory was an astonishing 8-1!

Gamba Osaka meet Sanfrecce Hiroshima at home. In the previous match, they came from behind victory to achieve their second consecutive victory. Striker Takashi Usami's scored his first of the season, and will probably be very motivated. On the other hand, Hiroshima haven’t won in the last three games and just lost to Cerezo Osaka at home. Their forwards need to find back the form they displayed in the first two matches of the season.

Kashima Antlers, who defeated Yokohama F.Marinos and obtained their first victory of this season, will travel to Shonan Bellmare. Their attack, which was so far their Achille’s heel, came to life and produced four goals. Ayase Ueda, who claimed a brace, is expected to play an important role in this game. Shonan haven’t won yet this season. They have conceded 10 goals so far, and manager Satoshi Ukishima surely needs to improve their defense.

Finally, Sagan Tosu and Shimizu S-Pulse will fight for a first victory. For Tosu, the mission is to score their first goal of the season. Shimizu, on the other hand, might have found the net, but they also have suffered five consecutive losses with 12 goals conceded, the most in the league.



Kashima Antlers beat Yokohama F.Marinos to grab their first victory of the season! Leaders Kawasaki Frontale win fourth consecutive match

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 5 took place on July 18, and Kawasaki Frontale stayed at the top of the table by topping Yokohama FC.

Frontale took the lead at Yokohama FC in the 28th minute with a goal by Yasuto Wakizaka. The hosts equalized later, but Yu Kobayashi’s penalty in the 75th minute put Kawasaki ahead again. After Akihiro Ienaga extended the lead again from the spot in the 78th minute, the table-leaders added two more to claim a comfortable 5-1 win. Second-place Urawa Reds traveled to FC Tokyo and got defeated 2-0, through goals scored at the end of the first half and in the 66th minute. While Reds dropped to the sixth place, FC Tokyo moved up to second.

Cerezo Osaka won 2-1 at Sanfrecce Hiroshima. After breaking the deadlock through an own goal in the 20th minute, Naoyuki Fujita doubled the lead in the 50th minute. Although Hiroshima pulled one back, Cerezo defended their lead to jump up to the second place along with FC Tokyo. Nagoya Grampus kept their unbeaten record by defeating Sagan Tosu 1-0 at home, with Naoki Maeda scoring the winner.

Kashima Antlers won their first match of the season by defeating Yokohama F.Marinos 4-2 at home. Ayase Ueda scored in the 4th minute, and after Yokohama F.Marinos equalized, the young striker struck again in the 58th minute. Everaldo and Ryohei Shirosaki added two in the 67th and 82nd minute respectively to help the team claim their first win of the season. Kashiwa Reysol hosted Shonan Bellmare, and Olunga gave them a lead in the 19th minute, to then double the lead through a penalty in the 44th minute. After Shonan halved the deficit in the 63rd minute, Hayato Nakama scored a stunning volley in the 70th minute, and while Reysol conceded a late goal, they managed to win the game 3-2.

Vegalta Sendai drew 2-2 with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, failing to defend a 2-1 lead provided by Ryo Germain and Keiya Shiihashi. Gamba Osaka had a tough start against Oita Trinita as the away side took the lead, but Takashi Usami scored an equalizer from the spot in the 37th minute and Ademilson completed the comeback in the 48th minute, to wrap the final result of 2-1. Vissel Kobe, hosted Shimizu S-Pulse and ended the first half nicely as Kyogo Furuhashi scored right before the whistles. Douglas, playing against his former team, doubled the lead in the 54th minute, and Furuhashi netted his second of the day in the 65th minute. Although they conceded in the 75th minute, they kept the scoreline of 3-1 to secure their second win of the season. Meanwhile, Shimizu dropped to the bottom of the table, having lost all five matches this season.