J. League 2008 is over!
Champions: Kashima Antlers
ACL Qualification: Kashima Antlers, Nagoya Grampus, Kawasaki Frontale
Relegated: Condadore Sapporo, Tokyo Verdy
Promotion Relegation series: Jubilo Iwata (J1) v Vegalta Sendai (J2)
What a great way to end the season. :)
I wasn't at the game, or watching on TV, as I was deep behind enemy lines at the Yamaha Stadium watching Jubilo crash to defeat at the hands of Omiya. The defeat puts them into the promotion / relegation series with Sendai. The second, and home, leg for Jubilo is next Saturday, so I'll probably wander over to Iwata again, yellow t-shirt in hand. ;-) While we'd all like to see Jubilo drop, I'd seriously miss the derby next season should Jubilo go down, so it's win win for many S-Pulse fans. The fact they even have to play in this series is a humongous embarrassment to all connected with the club, so even if they stay up, you could argue they will have suffered enough! The last three pro / rele ties have all gone the way of the J2 side, so Jubilo are up against it!
The story of the day today was in Chiba, where the miracle escape was made even more miraculous by the fact they were 2-0 down before they came back to win 4-2. Losses for both Jubilo and Verdy meant they leapfrogged both teams to preserve their J1 status. Well done Chiba and especially Alex Miller who truly did perform a miracle!
Well, we went out on a high, and we have every right to look forward to our Emperor's Cup 1/4 final with optimism. Opponents FC Tokyo were the team on the receiving end of Chiba's four goals today, and as a result were displaced into 6th place by us who finished this season a respectable 5th. Had Aurelio put away the last minute penalty back against Omiya earlier in the season we would have equalled 2006 and 2007's finish of 4th. No matter - it's been a roller-coaster season and we ended it on a high. 5th place also brings with it a cool 40 000 000 yen. Nice! Now just bring on the cup on the 20th!
BARRY WRITES... I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...