Saturday 30 December 2023

2023 season round up

2023 is probably not a season that will live long in the memory, even though we ended up being more successful this year than we were in 2022, when we finished with absolutely nothing. Anyone who has read this blog in 2023 will probably know how little enjoyment I have taken from most of our games and from writing blog posts in 2023. With that in mind, perhaps this year’s review will be a bit shorter than usual. After all, there are only so many ways you can say ‘we did the same thing we always did and once again, failed to be successful’. I think the photo I've used for this is quite appropriate considering how poor and blurry most of the year was. I’m going to divide this up by competition so you might be able to find some positivity in some of the sections. Probably not this first one though…


2023 saw us achieve our worst J League finish for 11 years. The last time we finished as low as 8th was 2012 and the last time we finished lower was the previous year when we finished in 11th. To be honest though, I think 8th kind of flattered us when you consider the rubbish we were playing in the league for most of the year. Clearly we’re coming out of a period of success with us being a strong team since our first ever title win in 2017. Whether that period is now over and we have reverted to type a little or whether this is just a blip remains to be seen. Regular readers will know that I am not the biggest fan of Oniki. I feel like this is actually a bit harsh though as clearly he’s done a lot for the club and has achieved great success since he took over the manager position. Nothing lasts forever though, and although a lot of the blame for our recent decline has to go to the departure of important players to European (and Qatari…) clubs, I think too many casual fans and observers have overlooked the impact that a lack of ideas from our manager might have contributed. Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be an Oniki bashing session, so instead let’s focus more on the misery of our league campaign this year.

We probably should have guessed what was in store for us from the first game. Perhaps it’s a little unlucky to have to take on your local rivals and last season’s title winners in your first game. We were scoring goals for fun in pre-season but as soon as it came to a game that actually mattered we looked totally useless. In my post at the time I said we ‘looked a mess at the back’ and that it was ‘a challenging game to watch’. I also said, and yes you can tell me how much of a genius I am if you want, ‘I get the impression that this will be quite a difficult season’. And that truly came to pass. The opening game also gave us some other omens for the year. We got a red card, something which plagued us in 2023, although to be honest playing with ten men sometimes made us do a bit better, and we got a defensive injury, throwing us into a first wholly predictable defensive injury crisis. We were long overdue one of these as we’d miraculously scraped through with the bare minimum of players over the course of quite a few years where we’d steadfastly refused to sign defenders. We followed up this red card with another one in the next match in case the writing that was on the wall wasn’t clear enough to read. I don’t really know what else to say about us in the league in 2023. We persevered with the same dull and pointless tactics and got what we deserved more often than not. So I guess I should just highlight a few games that stood out. Standing out for the wrong reasons were Gamba away where we were a complete waste of space against a team who had failed to win in the league until we turned up. The two away games in a row against FC Tokyo and Yokohama FC were a disaster too, where we just looked totally incapable of either attacking or defending. For positive reasons, the games that stand out are probably Kashima away, YFM away and Avispa away. Kashima was a ridiculous game where we conceded after five minutes to a goal from a player who’d left us in the summer, struggled to hit the target for the whole 90 minutes, got a red late on and an equaliser after that and then somehow ended up winning with a retaken penalty deep into injury time. YFM away was great because of a bundled in winner with two defenders and no attackers in the box, again deep into injury time, and was special mainly because I really don’t like YFM and we can say that this helped when it came to them not retaining the title. Avispa away was great because it rained ridiculously and I got totally soaked but sang so much I became hoarse. Obviously it’s not great when you get so wet at a game, but getting totally soaked is somehow better than getting just a bit wet as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s just finish up this section with a quick note that in our games against the top five teams we took 15 points from a possible 30. Against the bottom five teams we only took 17 from a possible 30. I guess that means from the middle seven teams we took only 18 from a possible 42. I guess this shows that we can stink it up whoever we’re playing. 50 points from 34 games, only 51 goals scored and 45 conceded, compared to 66 points, 65 scored and 42 conceded in 2022. I think the difference is that we were lucky in 2022 and in 2023 we got what we deserved.

Emperor’s Cup

Some positivity! We won the cup! The final was, aside from the penalties, truly terrible though, wasn’t it? And that wasn’t the only game we needed penalties to get through. I think we were slightly lucky to get Avispa in the semi-final as at that stage they were still involved in both cups and were going for their best ever league finish so clearly were spreading themselves quite thin. Before we got to the penalties and tired opposition stage, we’d swatted non league opposition away quite easily at home, had huffed and puffed a bit away at Mito and then needed a late Sasaki goal to get past Kochi United. I guess we were quite lucky with the draw we got. But unlucky that the Kochi United stadium was pretty much completely inaccessible without a car as I would have liked to go to a new stadium. But at least we got the chance to visit Mito again and it was nice to come away from Niigata with a victory, (albeit on penalties, which severely cut into post match boozing time). In the past we used to be terrible in knock-out tournaments, so it’s good to see that we don’t have that problem so much anymore. And it’s good to see that our luck didn’t completely desert us in 2023.

Levain Cup

Not so much fun in this tournament for us. In spite of us ending up on the same points as the group winner with a significantly better goal difference, we crashed out at the group stage. The group was pretty even/pretty bad with lots of people taking points off each other which messed it up for all of us apart from Urawa in the end. Once again, our first game in the competition gave us an omen of what was to come in 2023. Getting Shimizu in our group seemed like a doubly good thing as it provided us with an opportunity to go to a ground that we wouldn’t be able to in 2023 as Shimizu had been relegated and presumably would give us a chance to pick up six easy points for the group stage as Shimizu were very much focused on getting promoted back to J1 and were also in shocking form when we played them. Naturally we were 2-0 down after seven minutes and things didn’t get much better from there. They were even playing a bit of a reserves team as far as I can remember. Myogan got his first involvement and was then subbed at half time, which seemed to be a bit of an Oniki thing with various players in 2023. When we got back into the game though a Chanathip goal we then conceded again five minutes later. I probably had some more concrete moans when I wrote the biog post but I can’t remember why we were crap now. After this we got a couple of 0-0 draws, further demonstrating how 2023 would be. It’s a bit worrying that we had so many warnings very early on in the season but the manager was still unable to do anything about it. A big 6-0 win against Shimizu at home did wonders for our goal difference but that didn’t count in this group stage for some reason. And then a defeat to Urawa away pretty much sealed our fate. The last game away at Shonan was for the most part another truly awful performance with us going 2-0 down and then staging an unlikely but ultimately pointless comeback to win with a late goal. I like the Levain Cup more than many people do. I think it’s a good chance to go to some games in interesting stadiums and see players we don’t normally see. Sadly this year we got Shonan and Urawa in our group, negating the first part and after some initial rotation, Oniki reverted to the same old players for the ‘important games’, so the second part also was a wash out. Next year we have a new knockout format for the competition which could make things more interesting. I hope it means we can visit some interesting stadiums. I bet we’ll draw a boring team in the first round.


Perhaps the big surprise of the year was the way we navigated though the ACL group stage. In recent years the ACL has proven tough for us. We have been accused of not taking the competition seriously which is completely inaccurate, but understandable from the completely abysmal way we’ve dealt with ‘easy’ games in the past. Once again the draw wasn’t that kind to us either from the point of view of getting exciting away trips or beatable teams. Two of our opponents were in our group last year so there wasn’t even much novelty value. But this year we did better! After squeaking a win away at Johor in the first game we managed to do what has in the past been almost impossible for us to do, and beat Ulsan. They were pretty poor though. After that game we went slightly goal crazy and scored plenty, won five out of five and secured first place in the group with a game to spare. It all looks quite rosy from a distance but I would say that if felt like our opposition weren’t as good as we might have expected so perhaps it's a little early to book those flights to the middle east for the final. I suspect that we will draw Ventforet Kofu in the next round and lose to them. But this is just my natural pessimism. Our progress is definitely one of few highlights of 2023 though. Group stages are where doing the business is the most important thing and you don’t need to particularly set the world on fire. And the goals that we got in the later group games gave us all a much needed boost of positivity. The last time we got through we were terrible and went out against Ulsan. The previous time we threw away a great first leg lead in the away game against Urawa. Both times we’d won the group so let’s not get too carried away. But at the same time, we can enjoy finishing the year still in the competition.

Friday 29 December 2023

2023 season player round up part 3

Part three of three of the end of season round up. Next up we'll have the review of the season by competition.

25. Renji MATSUI (MF)
0 minutes played
From a Frontale point of view, there’s nothing to say. Had no involvement and then was loaned out to Machida Zelvia in May where he seemed to have some success. The previous year his only involvement was playing out of position at right back. Perhaps the departure of Joao Schmidt might open the door for him slightly. Or perhaps he might go out on another loan. If he stays with us he'll probably just be played at right back in a couple of cup games.

26. Takatora EINAGA (FW)
170 minutes played
Was considered another exciting prospect and just as he seemed to be getting slightly involved was sent out on loan to Mito. Had some involvement there but maybe didn’t make quite the impact some may have expected him to. A very exciting player on the few occasions I’ve seen him play, but one whose path is currently blocked by another of our undroppables, Ienaga. Much like Matsui, not sure what next year will bring for him, but I would certainly welcome a bit of excitement in our attacks next year.

315 minutes played
Came in somewhat surprisingly at the start of the season to cover another defensive crisis. Did pretty well considering his age and inexperience. Clearly not the finished product and probably won’t become it by just training. I would expect a loan period for him next year, but that probably depends on departures and arrivals.

28. Yuto OZEKI (MF)
13 minutes played
I missed the only contribution he made as I was on the plane on the way to the UK for my holiday so can’t really comment. Would imagine he will also be loaned out next year, but much like Matsui, the departure of Joao Schmidt might slightly open the door for him. Have only ever seen him play for the youth team where he looked pretty good but obviously it’s a bit of a step up to the J League.

29. Kota TAKAI (DF)
1785 minutes played
Defensive crises meant that he was used more than he’d have expected in his first full year. Started his senior career looking really good and got everyone excited. But unfortunately had one really shocking game which dented his confidence and I guess our confidence in him. But he did manage to pick up a bit towards the end of the year. Looks good on the ball I think, but probably needs to improve his decision making a bit as there are only so many situations you can dribble your way out of. But excited to see how his 2024 goes.

30. Yusuke SEGAWA (FW)
1809 minutes played
Our fourth highest goalscorer and didn’t play that many minutes really. At times has looked really exciting, but has also missed some chances that looked easier to score. But like with most of our attackers, it feels unfair to pin any weaknesses of our attacks on the players when I think that for most of the year, it’s the tactics that have been at fault.

31. Kazuya YAMAMURA (MF)
1952 minutes played
This was another year of mainly being the ultimate back-up player for Yamamura. His versatility meant that he was often on the bench to cover the defence and pretty much anywhere else he was needed. But the truth is he was almost exclusively used in defence and only then sporadically. I wish he’d occasionally get more of a chance to play somewhere else but it seems to be his destiny that he’ll be playing in defence for us from time to time as long as he’s happy to put up with it. He had a good end to the season though and has played better than some others in defence this year.

33. Taisei MIYASHIRO (FW)
2460 minutes played
Second highest scorer and would have been top if you don’t count goals from penalties. Decent record on minutes per goal too. But has had his pitch time limited by Oniki. I don’t really know why. It’s been said that he doesn’t really fit the way we play, but when you consider how ineffective our play was for the most part, you could probably say that we could do with changing the way we play. I’m a little worried about the rumours I’ve heard that he’ll be leaving.

41. Akihiro IENAGA (MF)
3353 minutes played
Lots of minutes played again by Ienaga and you’ve probably got to say that it is for diminishing returns. He definitely doesn’t have the cut and thrust that he used to and recently has even struggled a bit to do that thing where he holds off the opposition players. So perhaps age is catching up with him. Quite why he is so undroppable is a bit of a mystery to me. He definitely has his moments still, but quite why we persist with starting him as often as we do and by doing so, retaining our unbalanced and increasingly ineffective formation, I don’t know. I also don’t know if he will accept less playing time. He seems like he is a strong willed player. And when he’s playing well, he’s still great. But the fact is, the great times are becoming less common.

49. Kazuki KOZUKA (MF)
457 minutes played
Another who never really got that much of a chance. But at the same time, didn’t really fully take the infrequent chances he was given. His departure so soon after his red card against Urawa seemed a bit harsh. Felt like he always had the potential to score some bangers but never was going to get the opportunities with us, with so many people ahead of him.

1710 minutes played
Tricky year for our new keeper. Was signed with plenty of fans raving about his ability on the ball and saying how it was going to revolutionise our attacks. I think Oniki thought that would be the case too and perhaps his entire new year’s strategy was ruined by some dodgy performances. After Kami took over from Sung-Ryong, there wasn’t really any significant improvement in our distribution and he seemed to be not as good at actually stopping the opposition from scoring. Much like a few others, I feel like he had a bit of a baptism of fire and never really recovered from it. Sadly for him, it’s clangers rather than good things that stick in the memory, a hopeless attempt to save against Nagoya, the ridiculous header to gift Urawa a goal. But saying that when he was called on for ‘second string’ games later on in the season he acquitted himself pretty well. Perhaps he’s still settling in. I hope so. But the truth is, I don’t really know what the goalkeeping situation will be next year.

Toru ONIKI - manager
I guess most readers know how I feel about Oniki in general so I won’t go into that in much detail. He’s achieved great things with us, but I feel he’s run out of ideas. In 2023, he stubbornly stuck with players who weren’t performing and was quite unwilling to give players much of a chance. He’s definitely terrified of losing, and because of this, worried about taking any kind of chance when it comes to playing anyone who he doesn’t consider to be one of his best players, who he squeezes into formations, out of position in an attempt to play as many of them as possible. It feels tough to moan at him for our terribly dull football in 2023 when we finished the season scoring for fun and winning the Emperor’s Cup. The truth is though that we only started scoring goals when we were already well out of the league title race and even when we were doing this, we were also conceding goals for fun. And we were VERY lucky to win the Emperor’s Cup. I wasn’t particularly happy when he signed a new contract but I expected it was going to happen after our ACL results. He’ll really need to come up with some new ideas in 2024 in order to avoid another dodgy season, particularly when you consider that we might be losing a few of his favourite players.

2023 season player round up part 2

Today, part two of three of my end of season player round up posts. Part one was yesterday and part three is coming tomorrow.

13. Miki YAMANE (DF)
4203 minutes played
In previous bad seasons I’ve been pretty hard on Yamane. That is in part because he’s been so good in seasons when we haven’t been terrible. At the start of this year, I think Yamane was perhaps playing his worst football he’s ever played for us. Things picked up a bit later on in the year, but he still clearly had a bad year. At the start of the season, Oniki was experimenting with a tactic where Yamane would move into central midfield to set up attacks. It didn’t work, but of course we still persevered with it for ages. When we reverted to the same old stuff he picked up a bit, but he was nowhere near his best in 2023 scoring less goals and getting less assists and being generally less effective than in previous years. But at the same time, he was ridiculously overused by Oniki and I’m sure no-one plays their best when they have to play every single game. If the rumoured transfer to LA Galaxy goes through, I’m not going to be too upset. With Yamane in the squad and Oniki in charge he will probably be starting every game so replacing him becomes more difficult whilst simultaneously his level drops. I think a fresh start works for both player and team.

14. Yasuto WAKIZAKA (MF)
3527 minutes played
Our only player who made it into the team of the year, and to be honest, at the time, I thought it was a bit of a stretch to put him in there. Looking back at the stats, I think I’ve been a bit unfair on him. But at the same time, a lot of his goals came from penalties. Clearly he’s a hugely talented player, but at the same time, I think often his amazing turns, touches and passes are followed up by really horrible mistakes. His corners have been pretty awful all year too. But you can’t really criticise him for that as we have other people in the squad who can take them but aren't given the opportunity, which I'm sure is not his decision. I think it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been his best year, but he’s still done better than plenty of our squad have done. And like Yamane, he’s probably played way too many games this year, being almost as undroppable/unrotatable as our right back. After the Emperor’s Cup win it apparently sounded like there was a chance he might be leaving and in recent days there have been some rumours circulating, so perhaps we might be seeing someone else in the number 14 shirt next year.

15. Shuto TANABE (DF)
573 minutes played
Feel a bit sorry for him as when we had our defensive crisis, (hang on, which defensive crisis? It seemed like 2023 was one defensive crisis after another), he was recalled from his loan at JEF, came in to play a few games and then was unceremoniously dropped from the matchday squads when anyone else was available. I thought he did a pretty good job when he was called on. His versatility, (can play all across the back) might help him in 2024, as it looks like we’ll have a few shakeups at the back. Younger that some might imagine as although he’s been around for a few years, he didn’t go down the university route. So fingers crossed for the future.

16. Tatsuki SEKO (MF)
2640 minutes played
Was a bit in and out of the side as Oniki struggled to find his perfect midfield, (by playing some players out of position and refusing to rotate others at all). On the rare occasion he was allowed to take a free kick, he scored it against his old team, and then was immediately substituted. I think he was criticised unfairly at times because sometimes his passes went astray. The truth was, he was usually trying to attack rather than safely and pointlessly play the ball backwards like the team had been instructed to. I feel like 2024 might be a good year for him. I hope so!

17. Daiya TONO (FW)
1764 minutes played
A tricky year for our striker who was almost exclusively played in midfield. Scored quite a few goals though and always looked a danger when he was able to attack. Don’t know why he was asked to do the tough midfield stuff though as he clearly is more of an attacker. And this was shown by his red card against Kashiwa. There have been big rumours about him leaving us before the start of next season and I wouldn’t be surprised as he presumably doesn’t think he’s going to play up front much for us with Oniki in charge. I don’t want him to go though.

18. Chanathip SONGKRASIN (FW)
328 minutes played
Very sad that he left in the summer but totally understandable. His departure probably says something about the state of the club behind the scenes at the moment with the new chairman not exactly seeming that in touch with Frontale, or even with football. Got hardly any chances and basically seemed to be a player signed for his commercial value without anyone consulting the manager who it seemed didn't rate him/didn't know what to do with him. Can’t really speak about his season from a footballing point of view, but really happy he got to come back to Todoroki in the ACL and we got the chance to give him a proper and emotional farewell.

18. Bafetimbi GOMIS (FW)
426 minutes played
Somewhat weird signing, presumably made with the imminent departure of Damiao in mind. But is older than Damiao and has yet to totally get into his stride. Three assists late on in the season from only 426 minutes played is pretty impressive but it would have been nice if he could have got his first goal before the season ended. And also, was a bit of a shame he missed his penalty in the final. Whether getting a pre-season in means he’ll start the season banging or whether the passage or time will dull his effectiveness, well, we’ll see I guess. But I hope it’s the former as we all want to see that goal celebration.

20. Shin YAMADA (FW)
1476 minutes played
Has made himself a real fan favourite, for both his all effort performances and his no megaphone Vai La after our occasional victories. Like plenty of others, feel like he hasn’t benefited from our formation and tactics up front. Definitely one for the future and think he’ll only improve next year.

21. Shunsuke ANDO (GK)
0 minutes played
A quiet year again for Ando. He wasn’t even on the bench for some of the ACL games this year, suggesting that perhaps Hayasaka is now ahead of him in the pecking order. There’s nothing else to say really about someone who hasn’t been involved at all.

22. Yuki HAYASAKA (GK)
0 minutes played
Similarly to Ando, hasn’t been involved but was on ACL benches occasionally. And therefore there’s nothing to say.

1673 minutes played
Difficult to write this one. Given than when he was available he always played and was pretty much our only attacking route thanks to our lopsided formation, you’d think it was a good year for him. But the truth is that he probably didn’t make the most of the chances he had or almost created. People said that his pace was too much for the opposition but often his pace was too much for us too as there was often little or no support for him. Our one dimensional tactics probably meant that things were tougher for him as it was always obvious what we were going to do. Had a few injuries in 2023 and finished the season injured too, which got me wondering if he was going to move on. We’ll see, I guess. Hopefully we can see the best from him in 2024.

24. Toya MYOGAN (MF)
152 minutes played
A great hope at the start of the season but another player who had hardly any chances. His first action was against Shimizu away in the Levain Cup and he was subbed at half time, apparently being blamed for our absolutely terrible first half performance in that game. Still young and will perhaps hope that he can make a Mitoma like contribution next year after a first season of not much happening. Equally he could go out on loan in the way that others have. Oniki does like to get the young players in the squad for a year and then loan them out for a year. Either way, hopefully there will be a bit more to say next year.

Wednesday 27 December 2023

2023 season player round up part 1

Here is part one of three of my end of season player round ups. These were written before our latest signing, (midfielder Yamamoto Yuki from Gamba Osaka), so don't expect anything relating to that transfer to be reflected in here. Of course these are just my opinions. So with that in mind, expect these posts to be a bit pessimistic after what was, aside from the Emperor's Cup, a pretty disappointing season. Part two coming tomorrow.

1. Sung-Ryong JUNG (GK)
3030 minutes played
Bit of a weird season for him. The arrival of another first choice J1 keeper probably signaled that he wasn’t going to be an automatic starter any longer. But he did begin the season in goal. Unfortunately for him, he made a clanger in the first game which gave his doubters a reason to kick on with their doubting. To be fair to Oniki he didn’t immediately drop him, but I think it was always in his long term plan. After he had been dropped and then later made it back into the team, I think he was one of our better players, saving us on many occasions. Finished the season on a high, doing the business in goal and from the penalty spot to win us a title. I’m a big fan of Sung-Ryong. As the years pass, perhaps a few more mistakes have been creeping in, but as far as I’m concerned, if the same keepers are at the club next year, he should be the one starting as I feel a lot safer when he’s in goal for us.

3037 minutes played
Slightly surprised to see he played so many minutes as he has become a bit more injury prone in recent seasons. At the same time, I think he’s lost a bit of his edge too, which is natural as the years catch up with him. But he still was clearly Oniki’s first choice at left back this year. There’s going to be a bit more competition next year though as we’ve already signed a new left back. Somewhat shockingly scored twice this year. Still an important squad member, and not just as a ‘mood maker’, but I imagine he won’t be playing quite as much next year.

3. Takuma OMINAMI (DF)
3009 minutes played
Feel a bit sorry for him as he joined us apparently with the aim of getting himself back into national team contention. Presumably he had no idea we were going to have such an underwhelming season. Took a little while to get settled, but I think looking back, he was our best defender of the year. Thought he did well on the occasions he played at right back too. Occasionally had a rush of blood to the head, but you could say that most of our defenders are guilty of this more often than he is. Looking forward to see how he pushes on in 2024.

573 minutes played
A year to forget for a player who most people would have said is one of our best. After a long term injury in 2022 it was good to see him start the first game of the season. But he managed to get sent off in that game, perhaps an omen for what was to come in the rest of the season. Picked up another big injury which kept him out for seven months whilst trying to prevent the ball going out for a corner. Another omen for how bad 2023 would be for us perhaps. And then a few games after he came back had an absolute first half nightmare when he was responsible for us conceding three times before the break and was subbed off at half time. Steadied the ship slightly after a little break, but really hope the off season gives him a chance to get himself back to being the player we know he can be, as 2023 was really a year to forget for him.

5. Asahi SASAKI (DF)
1137 minutes played
Bit worried about Sasaki. I don’t think he’s ever been given a chance to stake a claim for a place in the starting line up and now we have a new left back joining. This might mean that we see him more at right back, (especially if a certain transfer rumour comes true), or maybe even at centre back. Had a few injuries in 2023 so I guess that contributed to him not getting much time on the pitch, but I hope he isn’t disheartened by his quiet 2023 as I think he has a lot to give.

2462 minutes played
Leaving us after his contract was not renewed. I feel sad about that, but in spite of what he could offer us, I think he was hampered by playing in the same position as Tachibanada who is both our captain and an Oniki favourite. Looking back, the time when he did have a run in the team did correspond with one of our worse periods though. I’m not sure that is connected, but it doesn’t look good. Think maybe he never really was used in the right way. Makes sense for him to go elsewhere as he’s too good to be sitting on the bench most weeks. Wish him the best of luck wherever he ends up.

7. Shintaro KURUMAYA (DF)
2134 minutes played
Clearly Kurumaya is now a central defender in both his and Oniki’s eyes. I’m not sure it’s his best position, but I guess at this stage it doesn’t really matter. I think I probably said all of this in last year's round up too. At the start of the year, in the same way that Jesiel had a dodgy but at the same time portentous start to the year in the first game, so did Kurumaya who got injured (for the first time) in the first game. But not as seriously as the injury that prematurely ended his season in September. In between these two injuries he was able to score a delightful bundled winner away against YFM. I don’t know what’s going to happen in our defence in 2024 but I hope that it’s not as dodgy as it was in 2023. I’m not sure that Kurumaya at centre back is the key to this.

3021 minutes played
Another player who had a bit of a weird year, being our captain but having quite a long period out of the team. Playing him and Joao Schmidt together never worked, so I’m glad that Oniki stopped trying to do it and if one of them had to give way, it made sense that it would be Joao. Tachibanada added goals to his game this year, scoring some important ones, particularly in the ACL against Ulsan. Put in some time at left back and right back too, because… well because Oniki. If he plays in the defensive midfield position that he’s best in, I think he’s very important for us. But I don’t think he should necessarily be played out of position in order to be squeezed in. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen in 2024.

1178 minutes played
Farewell to Damiao, as he was another player who didn’t have his contract renewed, (by mutual consent I believe). I think we all knew that this was going to happen. It’s nice to see him able to leave on something of a high, scoring a few goals towards the end of the year and with us taking the Emperor’s Cup. Before his late season revival, felt like things had gone a bit stale for him though and that a move would be best for both parties. This was probably due to our predictable and ineffective tactics though. It seemed that no-one who started in the middle up front for us could really score many goals, probably due to our utterly ponderous football. Now he’s gone, we’ll miss his obsessive desire to do overhead kicks and his nice guy character. Wish him all the best wherever he ends up.

10. Ryota OSHIMA (MF)
768 minutes played
Another season ruined by injury. It’s hard to say much about it. I can’t imagine how Oshima feels about another probably wasted year. I don’t think we even saw him anywhere near his best on the limited occasions he was involved. Don’t know what to say really, apart from the fact that it’s just really sad.

859 minutes played
The best goals per minute ratio of any of our players makes it sound like 2023 was a good year for Kobayashi. But when you look at how few minutes he played, perhaps it wasn’t. Had a few injuries through the year, but the fact that he was involved in 16 league games but only played for 518 minutes shows that a lot of his contributions were ten minute ‘cameos’ from the bench. I don’t know what 2024 will hold for him. Damiao has gone, but maybe the more obvious replacement for Damiao would be Gomis. I know Kobayashi wants to play in the middle, but I’m not sure playing there by himself works so well for him or us, as evidenced on the few occasions he started playing there. So maybe a new approach from Oniki will help him. Whether we get that or not is another thing.

Saturday 23 December 2023

2023 season player stats

Sorry that this is a bit less detailed than usual this year. In the past I’ve done half-season stats which meant that at the end of the year, putting together the final stats was a lot less daunting. But this time around, after a bit of a dodgy season, the thought of spending hours assembling them has made it a non starter for me. So you’ll have to put with this. I’ve got the total minutes that each player played and they will be in the player round-up posts. So, this stats section will just be a few top fives (or more) and some brief comments. Sorry! Stats were taken from Transfer Markt, Flashscore and the official Frontale site.

Most minutes played (all competitions)

1. YAMANE Miki - 4203
2. WAKIZAKA Yasuto - 3527
3. IENAGA Akihiro - 3353
4. NOBORIZATO Kyohei - 3037
5. Sung-Ryong JUNG - 3030
6. TACHIBANADA Kento - 3021
7. OMINAMI Takuma - 3009

I only listed players here who played more than 3000 minutes. Slightly worrying that three of those players are over thirty and that one of them seems likely to leave us in this transfer window.

Most goals (all competitions)

1. WAKIZAKA Yasuto - 13
2. MIYASHIRO Taisei - 12
3. TONO Daiya - 8
4. SEGAWA Yusuke - 7
5. YAMADA Shin - 6
5. SEKO Tatsuki - 6
7. TACHIBANADA Kento - 5

First of all, I only had stats for league games and blimey, it was bleak reading. Thankfully with the addition of other competitions, where we’ve managed to score some more goals, things look a bit brighter. But still only two players managed to score over ten goals and one of them, (Wakizaka), had his total significantly enhanced by penalties. It’s a good thing that we’ve got someone who can score them now though. When you consider how long Miyashiro dropped out of the squad his stats look pretty good.

Least minutes per goal (all competitions)

1. KOBAYASHI Yu - 172
2. MIYASHIRO Taisei - 205
3. TONO Daiya - 221
5. YAMADA Shin - 246
6. SEGAWA Yusuke - 258
7. WAKIZAKA Yasuto - 271
8. MARICNHO - 335
9. SEKO Tatsuki - 440
10. TACHIBANADA Kento - 604

Here, as in the previous category, I stuck to people who’ve scored five or more goals in total as I thought it would make more sense if we’re doing an average. I think Kobayashi should probably take these stats and wave them in Oniki’s face a bit. At the same time, I was quite shocked as it didn’t really feel like he was that effective this year. Miyashiro comes out reasonably well again.

Most assists

1. WAKIZAKA Yasuto - 12
2. IENAGA Akihiro - 8
3. YAMANE Miki - 4
3. MIYASHIRO Taisei - 4
5. Bafetimbi GOMIS - 3

Wakizaka coming top here is no surprise really, half of his assists coming in the league and half in cups. Feel like I’ve been a bit hard on him. Yamane’s dodgy season is totally on display here, particularly when you consider he’s played the most minutes and assists is one of the big things he’s in the team for. The big shock must be Gomis finishing fifth after joining us so late in the season and hardly playing at all. But the fact that could happen shows how dodgy we were in 2023.

Most yellow cards

2. KURUMAYA Shintaro - 5
3. OMINAMI Takuma - 4
4. TACHIBANADA Kento - 3
4. IENAGA Akihiro - 3
4. YAMANE Miki - 3
4. TAKAI Kota - 3

I think a Brazilian player comes top of this list every year. They definitely seem to get booked for things that Japanese players get away with.

Most red cards

1. JESIEL - 1
1. KURUMAYA Shintaro - 1
1. OMINAMI Takuma - 1
1. WAKIZAKA Yasuto - 1
1. YAMAMURA Kazuya - 1
1. TONO Daiya - 1
1. KOZUKA Kazuki - 1

Nice to see the reds being shared around! We got a shocking amount of red cards this year, which I think speaks volumes about how we struggled. Too many different defensive partnerships due to injuries and red cards meant that we got more injuries and red cards. Can’t remember any of them being particularly shocking or outrageous. But then again, I’ve done my best to erase most things about this season from my memory so perhaps some were massive injustices. Surprisingly quite a few of these weren’t for our old friend, the DOGSO.

Frontale Rabbit man of the match awards

1. Sung-Ryong JUNG - 4
1. SEKO Tatsuki - 4
3. YAMADA Shin - 3
5. OMINAMI Takuma - 2
5. TONO Daiya - 2
9. YAMAMURA Kazuya - 1
9. KURUMAYA Shintaro - 1
9. KOZUKA Kazuki - 1
9. NOBORIZATO Kyohei - 1
9. SASAKI Asahi - 1
9. TAKAI Kota - 1
9. TANABE Shuto - 1
9. Bafetimbi GOMIS - 1

This section is always a bit of a free for all and here I've listed everyone who got one of these prestigious awards from me. My decisions for this don’t usually correspond with what other people think. This season there were plenty of times that I didn’t give this award. I think in past seasons it has only been for truly terrible games or games I couldn’t attend. I’ve attended as many games as I always do, so interpret the lack of awards how you want. Clearly some of the awards were for sentimental reasons. But in usual bizarre Frontale Rabbit style, neither of our top two scorers or top two assisters got even one award from me…

Friday 22 December 2023

2023 season ref stats

Here we go with the end of season round up posts and as usual, I’m starting with the refs. Perhaps the most interesting thing about these stats are the totals at the bottom in comparison with the previous two years. You can clearly see that we have steadily got worse when it comes to getting points from games and have been getting more and more cards per games too. When it comes to individual refs, the ‘best’ refs for us, (ignoring those who only had one of our games), were Koya, Mikuriya and Nakamura, (who was the ref of the year according to the J League, an award which I predicted somewhat amazingly). When you add in yellow and red cards for these three, it’s Koya and Mikuriya who come out on top. Yes, Mikuriya, who has a reputation for being absolutely terrible! Our refereeing enemies in 2023 were Iida and Okabe. Iida has really pissed me off recently actually, so I’m relieved to see that the fact that we got no points from his games backs this up somewhat. Three yellows and one red in the two games he was in charge of mean that Iida is only beaten by two refs when it comes to dishing out cards to us. The first of those refs was the absolutely awful Imamura, (the guy who screamed at Kozuka), and the other one was the ever ‘popular’ Nishimura who gave us three red cards this year in just four games, (almost half of all the reds we got). In conclusion, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to Koya, Mikuriya and Nakamura. And to Iida and Okabe, well, hope you get a 'how to referee' book and some glasses for Christmas. Player stats coming next.

Ref stats

G - Games refereed

W - Wins

D - Draws

L - Losses

Y - Yellow Cards

R - Red Cards, *= 2nd yellow red card

AVC - Average number of cards per game (yellow = 1, red = 3)

AVP - Average points for us per game


G 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 Y 1 R 0


G 2 W 0 D 2 L 0 Y 3 R 0
AVC 1.5 AVP 1

G 1 W 0 D 1 L 0 Y 0 R 0


G 1 W 0 D 1 L 0 Y 0 R 1


G 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 Y 3 R 1*



G 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 Y 1 R 0

AVC 0.5 AVP 1.5

G 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 Y 5 R 1

AVC 4 AVP 1.5


G 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 Y 1 R 0


G 4 W 1 D 1 L 2 Y 3 R 0
AVC 0.75 AVP 1


G 4 W 1 D 2 L 1 Y 1 R 0

AVC 0.25 AVP 1.25


G 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 Y 1 R 0
AVC 0.5 AVP 3


G 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 Y 6 R 0

AVC 3 AVP 1.5


G 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 Y 1 R 0
AVC 0.5 AVP 3


G 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 Y 5 R 0

AVC 2.5 AVP 3


G 4 W 2 D 0 L 2 Y 4 R 3 

AVC 3.25 AVP 1.5


G 3 W 0 D 2 L 1 Y 4 R 0

AVC 1.33 AVP 0.66

G 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 Y 1 R 0


G 1 W 0 D 1 L 0 Y 0 R 0

G 3 W 1 D 1 L 1 Y 2 R 0
AVC 0.66 AVP 1.33


G 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 Y 5 R 1

AVC 2.66 AVP 2


G 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 Y 2 R 0

AVC 1 AVP 1.5

G 45 W 20 D 12 L 13 Y 49 R 7
AVC 1.55 AVP 1.6

G 38 W 21 D 8 L 9 Y 38 R 3
AVC 1.23 AVP 1.86

G 46 W 31 D 13 L 2 Y 21 R 0
AVC 0.45 AVP 2.3

Friday 15 December 2023

2023 Season survey questions

Here is the 7th annual Frontale Rabbit Blog survey. Once again almost totally cut and pasted from last year's one. Maybe the answers won't be as depressing this year as last year. If you have any questions you think I should add, please let me know and I'll put them in. Please reply any way you want. Leave a comment on the post, send me an email to frontalefan(at)gmail(dot)com, tweet them, Instagram message me…. any way you can think of really. I'll follow up collating the answers when I've got some responses. And in the interest of getting as many replies as possible, it's in Japanese too. Thanks!

Frontale Rabbitブログの年末恒例アンケートも7年目になりました。質問は昨年とほぼ同じですが、これ以外にも聞いたらおもしろいと思う質問があったらお知らせください。返答方法は自由 - ブログコメント欄、メール(frontalefan(at)gmail(dot)com)、ツイート、Instagramのメッセージなど。返答が集まったら結果を報告します!


 1. Game of season

2. Player of the season

3. Goal of the season

4. Disappointment of the season

5. Villain of the season (anyone, from any team or an official or...)

6. Best away trip (if you've done one)

7. Best stadium in the J League

8. Opposition J1 team you like the most

9. Opposition J1 team you like the least

10. Team you're pleased to see come up

11. Best thing about the J League

12. Worst thing about the J League

13. Trophy you would like to win the most next year

14. What’s your view of Oniki?

15. If you could have any J League player sign for Frontale, who would it be?

16. Which former Frontale player would you most like to see us re-sign?

17. What’s your prediction for next season?

18. How was VAR for you?

19. Any other comments

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Vs Ulsan Hyundai (away) 12/12/23 ACL Group stage match 6

Ulsan Hyundai 2 - 2 Kawasaki Frontale

As I said I would in the last post, I missed this game as I was on a plane to the UK. With that in mind, this is going to be very brief. It seems that hell has frozen over as Oniki finally found a game he deemed to be meaningless enough to play some of the younger players. It was good to see Matsunagane, Tanabe and Myogan, (who got an assist but was again changed at half time),  get some pitch time again and Ozeki was able to come on from the bench. It was a bit bizarre to see Oniki decide it was necessary to bring on Ienaga in the 82nd minute, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as I haven’t seen the game aside from the highlights. (Very generous of me, eh?). It looked like we attacked with some purpose and we pretty much matched them for all stats apart from possession in both halves. And we all know that in the past we’ve been big on possession and low on actually making chances so that’s got to be an encouraging thing. Kamifukumoto also seemed to have a decent game. (Well, he made some good saves on the highlights and wasn’t at fault for either of the goals). Whether any of this will in any way affect next season remains to be seen. But we’ve made it through the group unbeaten and are now presumably preparing for a defeat to Kofu in the next round.

Next up, Christmas and New Year and I guess some Frontale Rabbit round up posts and the survey and stuff. Right now that seems like a lot of work though for what was aside from the ACL and Emperor’s Cup, a pretty terrible season. I’ll do my best though. 


DF 29. TAKAI Kota
DF 15. TANABE Shuto
MF 16. SEKO Tatsuki
MF 17. TONO Daiya
FW 30. SEGAWA Yusuke
FW 20. YAMADA Shin (Yellow card 45+6')
FW 24. MYOGAN Toya
GK 1. JUNG Sung-Ryong
GK 21. ANDO Shunsuke
DF 3. OMINAMI Takuma
DF 13. YAMANE Miki (on for MATSUNAGANE 78')
MF 28. OZEKI Yuto (on for SEKO 78')
DF 31. YAMAMURA Kazuya (on for SEGAWA 78')
FW 33. MIYASHIRO Taisei (on for MYOGAN 46')
MF 34. YUI Kota
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro (on for YAMADA 82')

TONO (Frontale) 17' 0-1
SEKO (Frontale) 31' 0-2
ADAM (Ulsan) 44' 1-2
ADAM (Ulsan) PEN 53' 2-2

Sunday 10 December 2023

Vs Kashiwa Reysol 9/11/23 Emperor's Cup Final

Kawasaki Frontale
0 - 0 Kashiwa Reysol
(AET) (8-7 on penalties)

Errrrmmmm. Well what happened there then? I don’t really understand how it happened but we are Emperor’s Cup champions and can now put another star on our shirt. I know that nobody wants to hear me moan after we’ve won a title, so either please bear with me whilst I get that out of the way quickly and then can go on to something a bit more positive or interesting, or skip the next paragraph to the point marked below to save your sanity.

So here we go with the moans. One shot in the first half! And it took 39 minutes for that to happen! Only five more shots in the second half. In the same time Kashiwa had 22! We didn’t even have the possession we normally do. We couldn’t even enjoy those sideways passes. Things picked up a bit in extra time, but until then, oh my god it was bad. And there just doesn’t seem to be any ideas from the manager on how to change things. I don’t understand why he needs his magnet board so much as every change is pretty much like for like, (or puts someone out of position without altering anything else). On 84 minutes with us perhaps hoping we might be able to try and win the game Oniki made our final two subs and brought on a defender and a defensive midfielder. In the game Kashiwa apparently had 32 shots, 19 of which were on target. I can remember a couple of great saves, but apart from that I guess we were just lucky that we were up against a team who really couldn’t shoot. Especially lucky as we were a team that relly couldn’t even make it to a shooting position. When talking about our Tosu performance I said it looked like we were already on the beach. In this game it looked like we were still sitting on the beach but apparently oblivious as the tide comes in, up to our chins. I hope it’s a coincidence that since Oniki signed his new contract we have gone back to playing the worst stuff of the whole of his time in charge of us. We’d been on a good run until he signed, but since then have managed one goal in 210 minutes of football and that was an own goal. I’ll finish this moaning section by just reiterating that we were truly terrible in this match. I think the first half against Kyoto was better and we conceded three times in that game. I have absolutely no idea how we won. But of course, I’m delighted that we did.


As much as I’d like to rip into Kashiwa and make snarky comments about them, you’ve got to feel sorry for them. Even if they did heartily boo both Segawa and Ominami. You’ve got to feel particularly sorry for their keeper, who did amazingly in the penalty shoot out, getting his hands on loads of our penalties, but fortunately for us, not being able to stop enough of them. It’s really harsh that it was him whose penalty was saved to hand us the victory. If ever there was someone who didn’t deserve that, it was him. Probably Matheus Savio deserved that, who didn’t take long in this match to go down and roll around on the pitch feigning injury.  He did however create a lot of chances. A lot of chances that Kashiwa were thoroughly incapable of taking for some reason. But I shouldn’t let that cloud two amazing saves by Sung-Ryong to keep us in the game. Even at that stage he was clearly our man of the match. Little did we know that he was going to go on and score our winning penalty too. Amazing, and kind of amusing considering that our great leader tried to bin him off earlier in the season. As undeserved as the win was, I’m really delighted for our players, especially the ones who’d never won anything before. I guess this victory in some way validates Ominami’s decision to transfer to us, even though clearly the season didn’t really go how he might have expected it to. There were plenty of tears on the pitch and in the stands after the final penalty was saved, If only we could have skipped the match and gone straight to the penalties. The pre-game entertainment was quite good I thought and surprisingly stylish when you consider how bad the soundtrack is at Emperor’s Cup games. And there wasn’t a flame cannon in sight, so I guess that particular cringy moment is something that the J League is into and not the JFA.

So, we’ve done the ‘we’re crap section’ and the ‘they were unlucky’ section. So all that’s left really is the random stuff. First of all, the pitch in spite of it looking much better than it did in the J2 play off final, seemed to be totally cack. Perhps they got the spray paint and the roller out. Undoubtedly they got the sand out. every time the ball ‘bounced’ there was a puff of sand from the turf. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying that was the thing that was preventing us from getting the ball into any kind of shooting position. I had plenty of moans at the ref Kimura during the game but he probably did alright as there is nothing that is sitting burning in the pit of my stomach at the moment. I felt sorry for Gomis, who late in extra time almost chose an amazing time to score his first goal for us but was denied by a great save and then a lucky rebound for Kashiwa. It was a shame he missed his penalty too as he had the chance to win us a tournament the first time he put the ball in the net. But it wasn’t to be. I wonder how much longer he’ll be with us. Not sure it was his dream to come to Japan and sit on the bench for the final few years of his career. But we do know that Damiao is going, so perhaps that will open the door for him slightly. At the same time, we’ll be losing a striker in his mid thirties who has recently hit some good form and replacing him with one in his late thirties who has struggled a bit so far. Can’t say he’s really had a decent run yet though. Who might be joining Damiao in departing? Well Terada is rumoured to be leaving for a spot as manager of a team in a rice producing area of Japan according to a slightly cryptic tweet. (Apparently that’s Fukushima Utd). Clearly he has realised that he’s kind of wasting his time as Oniki will apparently only ever leave Frontale if he is forcibly removed. Marcinhho has been conspicuously absent the last two games, but apparently he has ‘a slight injury’. It was a shame he didn’t play in this game as even though our attacks through him often peter out, we don’t really have any other way of playing. So I guess it’s no surprise that we struggled to make chances without him. Even with Damiao leaving, you’ve got to think a lot of the attacking players might think they’d be better off looking elsewhere, as most of them seem to have been snubbed at one stage or another this year. I know most rumours are probably baseless, but I’ve heard Miyashiro might be leaving, (curse of my shirt again… sorry), Tono is being linked with a return to Avispa, (what, he doesn’t like being played out of position for 25 minutes each week?) and another player who we haven’t seen recently is Yamada. But to be honest, I have no evidence for that last one. In midfield, there has been talk of Tachibanada leaving, but maybe not much recently. Last year it seemed like he’d be the next to depart for next to nothing, but I’m not sure he’s done enough this year to attract that much attention. Joao Schmidt might want to go somewhere though, as he’s clearly thought of as a back up by Oniki now. And perhaps somewhat out of the blue, Wakizaka being so emotional, and some comments he made have started rumours about him. Or at least feelings about him. I don’t know if it’s just because he was our only representative in the J League team of the year, (his inclusion was a bit of a surprise to me, to be honest). Further back, Sasaki seems to have totally disappeared since he scored the winner away at Kochi United. And once again we have midfielders starting ahead of him in his position, which can’t give him much confidence. And this morning it’s being reported that Yamane has received an offer from LA United, so maybe we’ll lose him too. In my opinion, the problem, as I’ve said many times before, is that we just don’t rotate enough or properly. It’s basically the whole front three or centre back pairing changes, (if we don’t have loads of inuries), and that’s it. And that only happens about one game in five. I don’t really understand how anyone is supposed to get into any kind of form or even really have a chance to take. I think I also said that Oniki staying or going might have a significant affect on the squad. I think that perhaps if he was gong we might have some players who think they would have more of a chance with a new manager, with god forbid some new ideas, in charge. With him staying, with the players fully aware of his inflexibility, I imagine some might want to try their luck elsewhere. But this is all mainly speculation on my part.

How has this post about a game where we won a title managed to start with a moan and later turn into a ‘doom and gloom, everyone’s leaving’ tract? Well, I guess that’s just the way I write ‘em. It was pretty evident though that it wasn’t a great game and the joy of winning a title even in lucky fashion doesn’t completely cover up the doubts that are clear to see. I’m sorry I’m so negative, but perhaps that’s because I’m already thinking about the 2024 season. If we start the first game with pretty much the same lineup and tactics I think we all need to buckle up for what could be a very testing year. Or perhaps Oniki will use the break to have a good think and change things. Perhaps he’ll come up with another idea like getting Yamane to move into midfield when attacking like he did at the start of this season. The fact that his one big tactical change was a disaster, taking one of our effective attackers from his position and getting him to move into an area when he can penetrate less, doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. Conversely, perhaps we’ll start next year with lots of different players after having loads of people leave. It would be a major shock, but might hint at the state the players think we are in. Perhaps we need a few players to leave to freshen us up a bit. It’s just a shame that the ones who probably do go will be the ones who haven’t really had much of a chance, leaving us with the same old line ups and the same old ideas. Sorry that should have said idea. Anyway, let’s be positive. We are the champions! All of Japan is looking at us with admiration. It doesn’t matter that most of the admirers didn’t see the game. In fact perhaps that’s a bonus. I’m delighted for Sung-Ryong and the players who won their first titles. I’m sad to see Damiao go. I’m kind of relieved that after Tuesday’s game away in Ulsan, which I won’t be attending or even watching due to being on a plane, we’ll have a break. I think everyone needs it. I certainly do. When we went to the Sagan Tosu away game we spent a night in Kagoshima. At the station, I bought a keyring that says ‘Kagoshima! Soccer Victory!’ It’s not a branded Kagoshima United thing, more like a ‘lucky charm’ mass-produced with a slight variation with the wording and picture (Examination Success!, Basketball Win!) depending on which aspect of your life needs a bit of a plasticky luck boost. Some might say that the two games we’ve played since the purchase have been pretty awful. But on the evidence of the results so far, it’s working. Even if perhaps it might be working at the cost of some of our sanities! SOCCER VICTORY! 


GK 1. JUNG Sung-Ryong
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 31. YAMAMURA Kazuya
DF 3. OMINAMI Takuma
MF 16. SEKO Tatsuki
MF 14. WAKIZAKA Yasuto (Yellow card 55')
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro 
DF 4. JESIEL (on for OMINAMI 87')
FW 18. Bafetimbi GOMIS (on for KOBAYASHI 106')
FW 17. TONO Daiya (on for SEKO 64')
FW 30. SEGAWA Yusuke (on for MIYASHIRO 64')

My Frontale Man Of The Match
Such have been our travails in recent times that more often than not I haven’t bothered with this. But in this game there was a clear and deserved recipient. Do I even need to say that it goes to…

Sung-Ryong JUNG - needs absolutely no explanation. Arise Sir Sung- Ryong!

Frontale) 1-0
MATHEUS SAVIO (Kashiwa) 1-1
SEGAWA (Frontale) 2-1
HOSOYA (Kashiwa) 2-2
YAMAMURA (Frontale) 3-2
TOSHIMA (Kashiwa) 3-3
TACHIBANADA (Frontale) 4-3

SENTO (Kashiwa) 4-3 (Hit post)
GOMIS (Frontale) 4-3 (Saved) 
MUTO (Kashiwa) 4-4
NOBORIZATO (Frontale) 4-4 (Saved)   
KATAYAMA (Kashiwa) 4-4 (Hit post) 
TONO (Frontale) 5-4
YAMAMOTO (Kashiwa) 5-5
YAMANE (Frontale) 6-5
KAWAGUCHI (Kashiwa) 6-6
JOAO SCHMIDT (Frontale) 7-6
TATSUTA (Kashiwa) 7-7
JUNG (Frontale) 8-7
MATSUMOTO (Kashiwa) 8-7 (Saved)