Tokushima Vortis entered the final stages of the season with all options left open after securing an important win against Kyoto Sanga. The victory puts the Blues only five points away from the play-off spots and brings hope, for the first time this season, for the chance of direct promotion. The second place, currently occupied by Yokohama, is only 6 points away, a distance that can be decreased in a league that is as open as Japan League 2.

Ricardo Rodríguez, despite facing one of the most powerful teams in the competition and is in third rank, opted for a 3-4-3 formation. Tokushima’s first chance on goal was via a cross from the left wing to Watai who was in the penalty area and was able to head the ball from close range near Kyoto’s goal. The first half did not see a lot of scoring opportunities.

In the second half however, Tokushima boosted their attack. Uchida, in the 53rd minute, was close to scoring the opening goal but was blocked by Kyoto’s goalkeeper. Shortly after, Kiyotake had a better opportunity. However, his volley went just over the crossbar. Kyoto Sanga responded with a counterattack before heading into the final decisive minutes of the game, where Tokushima managed to seal a victory.

In the 79th minute, Iwao gave a pass to Watai, who scored the first goal of the game with a lovely finish. In the 88th minute, a rapid defensive-attack was completed with a great shot from outside the penalty area by Sugimoto. Kyoto Sanga could only narrow down the scoreline in the 95th minute, with a goal from Nakasaka.

Tokushima, currently with 46 points, await the next match against Ehime; a match where Ricardo Rodríguez hopes to seal his fourth straight win.