Tokushima Vortis were left without the victory of promoting to Japan League 1 despite their outstanding role throughout the season, especially, in the play-offs. In the last game, and away from home at Shonan Bellmare, a team from Japan League 1, Ricardo Rodríguez kept all his options alive until the last second with a draw that, unfortunately, was not enough to reach their goal.
The game started at a high pace, with the first occasion coming from Kawata through a shot that went away from Bellmare’s net. In the 23rd minute, Tokushima Vortis’ goal came from a corner kick. Suzuki, after Ishii headed the ball, finished off the volley to mark the 0-1 for Tokushima. Before the break, and via another set piece, Tokushima came close to scoring the 0-2. Vortis continued their attack on their rivals, a team who also began to create more danger through their Brazilian player Crislan, who was always looking for his teammates through his crosses.
Bellmare’s equaliser came in the 64th minute. Crislan gave the ball into the area where Matsuda was able to beat Kajikawa to it. With the need to score a new goal, Tokushima pressed forward, including their centre-back Buijs, who came close to scoring in the 87th minute, but his shot came off the hand of Bellmare’s defender, an action that the referee did not see as an intended one.
The last minutes were of clear dominance for Vortis, enclosing their rival within their area, but without managing to score that second goal.