Tokushima Vortis, after being on the verge of promotion to Japan League 1 last season, started off the new season with some new faces and the same hopes. Among those new faces is Kazuki Nishiya, who could not have had a better start in a blue shirt. He played his first official match in Japan League 2 with Tokushima and was able to score three goals.
A player who, regardless of his goals – he is not a specialist in this aspect: last season he scored 5 goals in total –will contribute his quality to strengthen the associative game proposed by Ricardo Rodríguez for his team.
However, far from looking like a simple win, the start of the game was complicated for Tokushima. Tokyo Verdy opted for direct play and to win the second play, a situation that led to two good saves by Kajikawa in just one minute. Tokushima were able to, upon getting to the opponent´s area, to take advantage of a rebound from the goalkeeper and score the opening goal via Nishiya in the 33rd minute. Four minutes later, and from a very similar play, Nishiya scored his second.
Tokushima closed the central spaces in the second half, where they varied in style, looking for faster-paced attacks. As a result, the Blues were able to score the third goal and a hattrick for Nishiya, who finished within the area with a great cross shot. Tokushima Vortis had more chances to score in a bright start to the season that puts them at the top of the table.
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.
Tokushima Vortis have managed to reach the final step of the season; their match against Shonan Bellmare – a team from Japan League 1- in which they play for their promotion to the highest category of Japanese football. The game will be played next Saturday, December 14. However, regardless of what happens in that game, Tokushima Vortis’ season can be described as outstanding.
Ricardo Rodríguez opted once again for his classic 3-4-3 against Montedio, an offensive structure despite the fact that a draw would have been enough for Tokushima. During the beginning of the game, risky behaviour of Buijs with the ball gave a clear goal chance to Montedio, but that was prevented thanks to great intervention from Kajikawa. After that however, Tokushima gained back their momentum. The clearest chances for goal came half an hour after the game, through spectacular individual action from Nomura who gave an assist to Sugimoto, who, however, wasn’t able to find the net. The first half finished with two more scoring opportunities for both teams, although without goals.
Kawata netted the first goal in the 52nd minute of the match through a pass from Iwao. The goal was of quality action from a decisive striker for Tokushima in the final stretch of the championship. Montedio, having to score two goals, opened their attack in the final stretch of the match. Tokushima however managed through strong defensive play to achieve the goal of reaching the last final of the year.
Tokushima Vortis are moving forward in their goal to get promoted to Japan League 1 after overcoming the tie against Ventforet in a tough game.
Ventforet, were once again for Tokushima Vortis a complicated team to face. Even having to play with 10 –men from the 47th minute after the sending off of Allano, the visitors showed no signs of weakness.
Ricardo RodrIguez opted for this first final with his most repeated eleven, in a 3-4-3 formation. The first goal did not come until the 32nd minute, through Kawata in a shot on goal that was deflected by Ventforet’s goalkeeper. Vortis’s offensive profile came into play again when Buijs, a full-back, joined the attack to finish off a Shimaya shot into the penalty area. However, the locals joy lasted only two minutes. Utaka, former Tokushima player, scored the goal with a shot into the penalty area that came off as a surprise to Kajikawa.
The final thirty minutes was of high intensity, with one last chance for Ventforet within the penalty area. The draw gives Tokushima a pass to the next round, after being above their rival in Japan League 2 table. Ricardo Rodriguez’s team will play the second to last qualifying round at home against Montedio, who beat Omiya Ardija (0-2).
Tokushima Vortis did not fail and will play the play-offs for the promotion to the Japan League 1 after sealing a comfortable victory against Renofa Yamaguchi and securing 73 points. The team led by Ricardo Rodríguez showed again the dynamics that they have been exhibiting for a long time, with offensive and very successful football when it comes to scoring.
Tokushima had the first goal opportunity in the 9th minute of the match through Kawata, in an individual action from Vortis’ striker that ended with a shot above the crossbar. Kawata returned once again half an hour throughout the game, with a great shot from outside the box that crashed into the crossbar. After two warnings, the Vortis striker was able to score a goal in the 38th minute. Tokushima thus achieved the goal of getting ahead on the scoreboard and thus avoiding looking at other results.
A sense of relief for the Blues came along after Kawata’s second goal as soon as the second half started in an attempt that surpassed Renofa’s goalkeeper. Tamukai, in the 50th minute, made the final 3-0 coming from behind to finish off an attempt down the left wing.
Tokushima closed the season with spectacular numbers, especially in the final part of the season, with 11 victories in the last 15 games of Japan League 2. With these statistics they have reached the play-offs, playing the first game against Ventforet at home. The other clash is Omiya Ardija-Montedio. Yokohama, meanwhile, guaranteed their promotion to Japan League 1 along with Kashiwa Reysol.