November 17, 2018
The end of the season led Tokushima Vortis to be side protagonist of a final. Matsumoto Yamaga was playing at the same time for the title of the Japan League 2, the direct promotion or end up playing the play-offs. All under a spectacular atmosphere by local fans, who packed their stadium for the last game of the year.
Ricardo Rodríguez opted to keep his classic scheme 3-5-2, despite knowing that the rival would look for a quick goal. It was so. Matsumoto Yamaga was a hurricane in the first minutes of the match with continuous attempts, always with direct play, where the defence of Tokushima Vortis suffered, but managed to resist. It was not easy. Kajikawa was close witness of all the shots that came close to goal. Despite the attempts, the goal did not come and Tokushima Vortis could breathe when they took control of the ball.
In the second half the intensity of the match decreased. Matsumoto Yamaga, aware of what was happening in other stadiums, saw that the tie could be worth to achieve their objectives. There were only timid attempts over the goal of Kajikawa by Maeda, always persistent. Tokushima Vortis, meanwhile, had the chance to win the match in the last minute with a header from Ishii in a corner-kick that went out very close to the locals’ goal. At the end, shared points that served for Matsumoto Yamaga to get what they wanted and for Tokushima Vortis to prove that they are not inferior to anyone, not even the champion. Only the lack of goal (one goal scored in the last six matches) has deprived them of being able to fight for big objectives.
The Blues finish the season with 56 points in the eleventh place. At the top, Matsumoto Yamaga (77) and Oita Trinita (76) promote and Yokohama FC, Machida Zelvia, Omiya Ardija and Tokyo Verdy will fight for the last spot in the play-offs.