Mu Kanazaki got 2 goals, Kashima Antlers win J.League Championship

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The 2016 season of J.League has ended, the Urawa Red Diamonds’s winning point was 1st place of J1 League. In addition to the Reds, the Kawasaki Frontale took the 2nd place and the Kashima Antlers took the 3rd place. So the three teams advanced to J-League the championship. At first, the semifinal was held at Todoroki Athletics Stadium in November 23. In this match, the Antlers beat the Frontale 1 to 0. So the Antlers advanced to the final, there was the 2016 J.League Championship final of the Urawa Red Diamonds vs the Kashima Antlers at home and away.

The 1st leg of final was held in November 29 at Kashima Soccer Stadium, Ibaraki Prefecture. This stadium is the home of the Antlers, it’s a bad transportation to the stadium. So the ticket sales were not good, they invited elementary school students and junior high school students near the stadium for free. But Only 23,000 spectators gathered in the stadium where 40,000 people put in. It was one of the reasons that the match was held on weekday evening.

The usual members participated in both teams, Tomoaki Makino, Yosuke Kashiwagi, Syusaku Nishikawa, Shinzo Koroki and others were the starting member in the Reds. In the Antlers, Gen Shoji, Mitsuo Ogasawara, Hitoshi Sogahata, Mu Kanazaki and others were the starting member. The match proceeded as same score in the first half. But in the 57th minute of the second half, because Daigo Nishi of the Antlers knocked Koroki so the Reds got a chance of penalty kick. Yuki Abe converted a penalty calmly as usual, the Reds led the match with 1 to 0. The Antlers had a lot of shoots but the Reds kept a clean sheet. Finally, the Reds won the 1st leg of the final.

In this match, the scene of the penalty kick was a delicate decision. So the faction of fans rushed to the referee, the referee’s facebook was closed. In the same day, LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 with the Chapecoense’s players crashed in Colombia. Among Chapecoense who died in this plane crash, there were many players who was active in the J-League. So a silent prayer was to be dedicated before the match of 2nd leg.

The 2nd leg of final was held in December 3 at Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama Prefecture. Because it was a weekend, there were about 60,000 spectators in the stadium. The Reds’s point was the 1st place in this year. Because the Reds beat the Antlers 1 to 0 in the 1st leg, so the Reds was the winner with a win or a draw on the the regulation. Conversely, the Antlers could not win without winning with 2 points or more. The starting members of both teams were almost the same as the 1st leg. The player that changed in the Reds, Toshiyuki Takagi and Takahiro Sekine were the starting member. In the Antlers, Gaku Shibasaki was the starting member.

In the 7th minute of first half, Koroki got the goal to convert the cross by Takagi, the Red were the first score. But In the 40th minute of first half, Mu Kanazaki scored the goal to convert the cross by Yasushi Endo, the Antlers equalized with the Reds. After that, Makino knocked Yuma Suzuki so the Antlers got a penalty kick in the 78th minute of second half. Mu Kanazaki converted a penalty calmly. After all the second half was completed as score of 2-1.

As a result, the Antlers won the 2016 J.League Championship for the first time in seven years. Kanazaki got the MVP of the match. The Antlers got a prize of 100 million yen and qualifies for 2016 FIFA Club World Cup finals. So the Antlers will play with the Auckland City FC of New Zealand at Yokohama Nissan Stadium in December 8. By the way, the format of J.League Championship is the last in this year. J-League has concluded a broadcasting rights agreement of about 210 billion yen with Perfom group for 10 years from 2017. So only the league game with a winning prize of 1.5 billion yen will be in 2017 season. By the way the Antlers were 3rd place in a new format in 2016 season.

The youtube’s video is the 2nd leg of the 2016 J.League Championship final. Congratulations, Kashima Antlers!