Avispa Fukuoka vs Ventforet Kofu - Free Live Streaming on the J.League International YouTube channel on August 8th!

The J.League International YouTube channel broadcasts free J2 matches every round.

In this week, J2 League Match-day 10, the featured match is Avispa Fukuoka vs Ventforet Kofu!

Both Fukuoka and Kofu sit in 7th place with 14 points. As some members of Fukuoka were suspected to be positive at a COVID-19 test, their previous match against Omiya Ardija was postponed. With both teams undefeated in four games, we expect a very balanced and intriguing match.

The kick-off is at 19:00 (Japan time) on Saturday, August 8th.

Click here to watch!

*Broadcast only available to audiences outside of Japan*



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.


League Cup

Kashiwa Reysol defeat Shonan Bellmare and advance to the Prime Stage! Kazuyoshi Miura, returns to the starting lineup and sets new record

J.League YBC Levain Cup, Round 2 of the group stage took place on August 5th and determined that Kashiwa Reysol will advance from Group D to the Prime Stage.

In Group A, Kawasaki Frontale played at Kashima Antlers. The away side took the lead through a goal from Kaoru Mitoma in the 43rd minute. Ryota Oshima added another in the 47th minute, and Reo Hatate made it 3-0 in the 55th. Although they conceded twice later on into the game, Frontale returned to Kawasaki with a 3-2, their second consecutive victory in this tournament. In the other match, Nagoya Grampus topped Shimizu S-Pulse 3-0 with goals from Yuichi Maruyama, Mateus and Ryogo Yamasaki. They as well have won two in a row.

In Group B, Cerezo Osaka hosted Urawa Reds. Yuta Toyokawa claimed the only goal in the 82nd minute. And so the Osakans are yet another of the clubs leading their group’s table with two consecutive victories.

In Group C, Consadole Sapporo and Sanfrecce Hiroshima faced each other hoping to go for consecutive wins. Sapporo took the lead through a goal by Takuro Kaneko, in the 14th minute. Although they conceded an equalizer, Douglas Oliveira made it 2-1 in the 61st minute, and that as enough to secure the three points. Yokohama FC traveled to Tosu, where the deadlock was broken only in the 91st minute, when Yuji Senuma found the net. This match also saw 53-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura back to the starting lineup and playing 63 minutes.

In Group D, Kashiwa Reysol defeated Shonan Bellmare 1-0 thanks to Hiroto Goya’s winner in the 48th minute. With such result, the winners advance to the Prime Stage. Finally, Oita Trinita vs Gamba Osaka ended with a 1-1 score. The away side took the lead through a goal from Patrick in the 29th minute. However, six minutes later, Kozuka Kazuki tied the game for Oita.


League Cup

2020 J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP -Kashiwa Reysol qualify to the Prime Stage-

Following the results of the 2020 J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP Group Stage (2nd sec.) held today, Kashiwa Reysol will qualify to the Prime Stage.

■2020 J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP Group Stage Tables

Group A

Position Club Points Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD
1 Kawsaki Frontale 6 2 2 0 0 8 3 +5
1 Nagoya Grampus 6 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4
3 Kashima Antlers 0 2 0 0 2 2 4 -2
3 Shimizu S-Pulse 0 2 0 0 2 1 8 -7

Group B

Position Club Points Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD
1 Cerezo Osaka 6 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
2 Urawa Reds 3 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2
3 Vegalta Sendai 0 1 0 0 1 2 5 -3
3 Matsumoto Yamaga F.C. 0 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3

* Matsumoto does not play from sec. 2 and the group is made up of 3 teams. Sendai and Urawa will be given 3 points after 3rd sec.

Group C

Position Club Points Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD
1 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 6 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
2 Yokohama FC 3 2 1 0 1 1 2 -1
2 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3 2 1 0 1 3 2 +1
4 Sagan Tosu 0 2 0 0 2 0 4 -4

Group D

Position Club Points Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD
1 Kashiwa Reysol※ 6 2 2 0 0 2 0 +2
2 Shonan Bellmare 3 2 1 0 1 1 1 +0
3 Gamba Osaka 1 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1
3 Oita Trinita 1 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1

※qualify to the Prime Stage  *same points = same position

■Group Stage (3rd sec.)


Sec. Date KO Group Fixture Venue
3rd Wednesday
12 August
19:00 A Shimizu S-Pulse vs Kashima Antlers IAI.S
A Nagoya Grampus vs Kawasaki Frontale Paloma Mizuho
B Vegalta Sendai vs Cerezo Osaka Yurtec.S
B Hokkaido
Consadole Sapporo
vs Yokohama FC Sapporo.D
C Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Sagan Tosu EDION Stadium.H
D Kashiwa Reysol vs Oita Trinita SANKYO FKashiwa
D Shonan Bellmare vs Gamba Osaka BMW.S Hiratsuka

-Group Stage
16 teams (15 J1 teams* and J2 team Matsumoto Yamaga F.C.**) will play in a round-robin format in 4 groups. 
Top teams in each group and top 1 team in second place will qualify to the Prime Stage.
*3 teams participating in the AFC Champions League (ACL) will play from Prime Stage.
**Matsumoto will not play from sec. 2 and their group will be made up of 3 teams. 2 teams that will not play against Matsumoto will be given 3 points.

■Prime Stage
Quarter-final: Wednesday 2 September
Semi-final: Wednesday 7 October
Final: Saturday 7 November

8 teams (5 qualified teams and 3 teams participating in the ACL) will play a knockout format.



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



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.


League Cup

The League Cup restarts after a six months hiatus – Defending champions Kawasaki Frontale travel to Kashima Antlers

The J.League YBC Levain Cup restarts with seven matches of the group stage Match-day 2 taking place on August 5.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of the tournament has been changed drastically. The group stage is no longer a home-and-away format (there will be only three match-days) and there will be no play-off stage. The winners of each group and the best second-place team among the four, as well as AFC Champions League participants will advance to the Prime Stage (quarter-finals). J2 side Matsumoto Yamaga in Group B will not participate in the rest of the campaign, and the regulation that requires each team to start at least one U-21 player will not be applied.

Though the competition will be shorter than usual, the value of the title remains the same. The battle for the cup will be as intense as every year!

In Group A, Kawasaki Frontale will meet Kashima Antlers away. The last season’s winners are in great form, having defeated Shimizu S-Pulse in the first match of the competition and winning seven consecutive league matches. Although they might rotate several players due to the tight schedule, they have enough depth to play their attacking football no matter who is on the field. Meanwhile, Kashima, who have lost to Nagoya Grampus on the first day of the Levain Cup, are showing signs of improvement in the league. Youngsters such as Ryotaro Araki and Itsuki Someno could play an important role in this match.

The other game in Group A is between Shimizu S-Pulse and Nagoya Grampus. Shimizu are struggling in the league and have no points in the Levain Cup after losing to Kawasaki. As Peter Cklamovski’s new style is slowly starting to work, they try to make a comeback with their aggressive football. Nagoya have three points from the opening match against Kashima. While they are in form in the league as well, there are concerns over injured players. It could be a big chance for young players waiting for their opportunity to shine.

In the only match in Group B, where Matsumoto Yamaga dropped out, Cerezo Osaka will host Urawa Reds. Since both teams won comfortably their first match, it’s an important clash that could decide who will lead the group. One goal can make the difference between two teams that boast great defense.

The big match in Group C is Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo against Sanfrecce Hiroshima, in which both teams aim for the second consecutive win. Sapporo only have two days to prepare for this game, but the advantage of playing at home. Their rookies, who joined from universities teams this year, are performing well and could be important against Hiroshima. The away side is improving its form, and have won their most recent league match. Their your players are also showing improvement and despite their limited experience, they are very aggressive.

Sagan Tosu host Yokohama FC. After claiming the first victory of the season by beating FC Tokyo last weekend, they are in high spirits. While youngsters such as Kaisei Ishii are leading the team, the experience of veterans such as Yohei Toyoda could be decisive. Yokohama FC are struggling, having lost their last four league matches. Kazuyoshi Miura is expected to make the match squad, and perhaps he could turn things around.

Kashiwa Reysol and Shonan Bellmare meet in Group D. They both won the opening match of the Levain Cup, but their situations in the league are quite different. The former sit in fourth place, while the latter are at the bottom of the table. Kashiwa will try to continue their good form in the cup, and Shonan need new heroes to change pace and overcome the negative period.

Finally, Oita Trinita, who will play against Gamba Osaka at home, are another team that has been struggling in the league. They still boast a solid football style under manager Tomohiro Katanosaka, and a win in the Levain Cup could revive their form. Gamba Osaka are overall in good shape, and might give chances to talented youngsters in this cup fixture. Meanwhile, Gen Shoji is back from injury and could make an appearance.



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.



2020 MEIJI YASUDA J2 LEAGUE Omiya Ardija vs Avispa Fukuoka postponed

J.LEAGUE has announced that the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J2 LEAGUE match between Omiya Ardija vs. Avispa Fukuoka, scheduled for Sunday 2 August 2020 at 19:00 JST, has been postponed after a suspected case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was confirmed in Avispa Fukuoka. An alternative date for the match will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.

■Match postponed

Date KO Fixture Venue
Sunday 2 August 19:00 Omiya Ardija vs Avispa Fukuoka NACK5.S



Mito Hollyhock vs Zweigen Kanazawa - Free live Streaming on the J.League International YouTube channel on August 2nd!

The J.League International YouTube channel broadcasts free J2 matches every round.

In Match-day 9, 15th place Mito Hollyhock will host 11th place Zweigen Kanazawa

The kick-off is at 19:00 (Japan time) on Sunday, August 2nd.

Click here to watch!

*Broadcast only available to audiences outside of Japan*



J.LEAGUE and LaLiga extend their strategic partnership agreement

The J.LEAGUE and LaLiga have extended the strategic partnership agreement signed in 2017 for a further three years, linking the two competitions until July 2023. The agreement seeks to continue the close relationship between the two organizations in recent years, which has seen mutual institutional visits by representatives, as well as exchange of expertise and host of the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE WORLD CHALLENGE 2017 between Kashima Antlers and Sevilla FC in July 2017. Moving forward, the J.LEAGUE and LaLiga will work together to go a step further in their digital actions and promotional activities to explore new collaborations.

【Outline of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between J.LEAGUE and LaLiga】
■Agreement Period: July 2020 to June 2023

1. Hold seminars and workshops
(examples of topic: governance, management and finance, stadiums, eSports, sports medicine)
2. Knowledge sharing, planning and activation in the digital field (social media, eSports and games)
3. Cooperation in social responsibility programs and in communication campaigns carried out in the fight against violence, discrimination and exclusion
4. Exchanges in the youth category, coach development etc.

Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga
“Our MOU with the J.LEAGUE was the first that LaLiga signed in Asia and we are delighted to continue growing with them. Spain and Japan are countries with a long history of friendship and exchanges, and football, as an important part of both cultures, has an important role to play in continuing this relationship.”

Mitsuru Murai, J.LEAGUE Chairman
"We are very pleased to continue our strategic partnership with LaLiga to continue to deepen our exchanges and challenge our issues. While the world is in midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we will strive to strengthen our partnership and make our way to go through this difficult situation together."

The J. LEAGUE has a regulation that players with the nationality of a partner league can register as the same with a Japanese nationality and are not considered foreign players. However, this does not apply to players with the nationality of a strategic partner league, namely those with a Spanish nationality.



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.



Montedio Yamagata vs JEF United Chiba - Free live Streaming on the J.League International YouTube channel on July 29th!

The J.League International YouTube channel broadcasts free J2 matches every round.

In Match-day 8, 18th place Montedio Yamagata will host 12th place JEF United Chiba

The kick-off is at 19:00 (Japan time) on Wednesday, July 29th.

Click here to watch!

*Broadcast only available to audiences outside of Japan*



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.



Giravanz Kitakyushu vs Renofa Yamaguchi - Free live Streaming on the J.League International YouTube channel on July 25th!

The J.League International YouTube channel broadcasts free J2 matches every round.

In Match-day 7, 14th place Giravanz Kitakyushu will host 18th place Renofa Yamaguchi!

The kick-off is at 19:00 (Japan time) on Saturday, July 25th.

Click here to watch!

*Broadcast only available to audiences outside of Japan*



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.