Kashiwa Reysol were in the midst of their biggest slump of the season, going eight matches without a win and trailing 2-1 heading into stoppage time. But an incredible three goals after the clock reached 90 minutes saw them come from behind to steal a stunning win, and now Reysol are riding high.
Beyond coming off a victory, and an exhilarating one at that, Reysol are now out of relegation territory. Now, are they ready to go on a run further above the drop zone?
We’ll find out this weekend when they welcome second-place Yokohama F·Marinos to Kashiwa. Marinos have been every bit as good as their spot in the table would indicate - second in the league in goals scored with 35, largely thanks to Ado Onaiwu and Daizen Maeda combining for 19, and jointly third in goals conceded with 15.
Marinos are also in terrific form, having won their last four matches. But that fifth match? The last one they failed to win? That was a 1-1 draw against the same Reysol team they play this weekend.
In that previous meeting, Reysol gave Marinos problems with their organized and resolute defending, limiting the space Marinos had and forcing them to play in smaller zones, where Reysol tackled well and snuffed out danger. Though Marinos had more than 70% of possession, Reysol had more shots and put more of them on target in the contest.
At first glance, a match up between the second- and 16th-place teams in the table may appear to be a mismatch, but factoring in how well Reysol played Marinos recently and the momentum they will be carrying after an improbable comeback win and this match could be a thriller.