There’s no stopping the Kawasaki Frontale train as the defending J.League 1 champions continued their unbeaten start to the season on Wednesday’s Matchweek 8 action. Sagan Tosu became the men from Kanagawa Prefecture’s latest victims as they suffered their second consecutive 1-0 loss, with Kim Myung-hwi’s men once again being forced to finish the match with 10 men.
Matchweek 8 of the 2021 J.League 1 season kicked-off on Tuesday, with Yokohama F. Marinos taking on Cerezo Osaka at the Nissan Stadium. The match seemed to be heading into a 0-0 stalemate until Nigerian-Japanese striker Ado Onaiwu broke the deadlock in the 87th minute, allowing Ange Postecoglou’s Yokohama to reap all three points.
Tuesday saw the bulk of the matchweek being played out, with Kawasaki hosting Tosu at the Todoroki Athletics Stadium. The match was a closely-contested encounter, however the scales of the tie began to tip into Kawasaki’s favor after Tosu defender Masaya Tashiro was shown a straight red card after denying Leandro Damiao a clear goalscoring opportunity. Substitute Daiya Tono then gave the hosts the lead in the 65th minute, taking advantage of a Damiao flick to squeeze the ball past two Tosu defenders before slotting home past Park Iru-gyu. No further goals were scored afterwards, allowing Kawasaki to open a five point-gap between themselves and the chasing pack on top of the J1 table.
Kawasaki’s closest chasers in Nagoya Grampus also retained their unbeaten record however they once again were forced to drop points as 10-man Shonan Bellmare managed to play out a 0-0 draw with them at the Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka. 3rd placers Vissel Kobe inched themselves closer to the league’s summit after a 1-0 home win over Oita Trinita, while Sanfrecce Hiroshima made themselves comfortable in the top four with a 3-0 win away at Yokohama FC, ensuring that Sanfrecce’s own unbeaten start to the season remain unblemished.
Urawa Red Diamonds managed to work out a 2-0 win away at Shimizu S-Pulse, while Gamba Osaka once again played out a 0-0 draw, with Avispa Fukuoka leaving the Panasonic Stadium Suita with a solitary point. Kashima Antlers managed to eke out a 2-1 win over Kashiwa Reysol at the Kashima Soccer Stadium, while Tokushima Vortis managed to win their third J1 game in a row, a 1-0 home win over Vegalta Sendai.
Last but not least FC Tokyo managed to beat Hokkaido Consadole Sanfrecce 2-1 at the Ajinomoto Stadium, however both sides ended the game with 10 men after FC Tokyo’s Tsuyoshi Watanabe and Consadole’s Kim Min-tae were sent off by the referee.