The bottom of J2

It was a mixed weekend for teams at the bottom. Here are the results from last week:

  • Jubilo Iwata 2-3 FC Gifu
  • Tokyo Verdy 0-2 Roasso Kumamoto
  • Kyoto Sanga 1-2 Tochigi SC
  • Thespa Kusatsu Gunma 0-1 Mito Hollyhock
  • Oita Trinita 0-1 JEF United
  • Cerezo Osaka 1-0 Tokushima Vortis

Very important away wins for Gifu, Mito & Kumamoto squeezed Tokushima down into 21st place and staring at the abyss. Another defeat for Oita keeps them rooted to the bottom – and two teams that were recently in J1 now occupy the bottom two slots of J2. Kyoto Sanga’s horrible season continued as they were toppled at home by mid-table Tochigi. Masahiro Wada has some serious problems there.

The bottom of J2 currently looks like this:

17 19 5 4 10 22 30 -8 19
18 19 4 6 9 15 27 -12 18
19 19 5 3 11 21 38 -17 18
20 19 4 5 10 15 22 -7 17
21 19 2 10 7 14 22 -8 16
22 19 2 7 10 17 26 -9 13

If Oita aren’t careful, they’re going to get cut-off soon – they desperately need a spark from somewhere. Can they get it this week? Here are the fixtures relevant to the battle at the bottom this week:

  • FC Gifu v Thespa Kusatsu Gunma
  • Mito Hollyhock v Yokohama FC
  • Tokushima Vortis v JEF United
  • Roasso Kumamoto v Kamatamare Sanuki
  • Zweigen Kanazawa v Kyoto Sanga
  • Consadole Sapporo v Oita Trinita (Monday night)

There are some difficult looking games for Oita, Tokushima & Kyoto and you’d think they’ll do well to get anything from those appointments. With Oita playing on Monday night, their worst case scenario is that they’ll be six points adrift of safety before they kick-off, although that assumes that all the teams above them win.

If FC Gifu follow up last week’s superb victory in Iwata with another win, they could start to build the confidence they need to drag themselves away from the drop zone. They still need to improve defensively although having Kazumichi Takagi back will help them immensely. Mito Hollyhock are another team that will grow in confidence with another win, and they have a winnable game at home to Milos Rus’ Yokohama FC. Roasso Kumamoto will also fancy their chances when they entertain Kamatamare Sanuki, who are winless in their last four outings.

It looks to be another nailbiting slate of games down in J2 this weekend.

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