Japan: J-League resumes following tragic period
The Japanese J-League has resumed some seven weeks following the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami which hit the country in early March. Some Japanese clubs have had to keep playing football in the AFC Champions League competition but the domestic season had been halted until this weekend.
With only two matches played so far the only team with a 100% record is Kashiwa Reysol who followed up their opening day win over Shimuzu S-Pulse with victory over Omiya Ardija on Saturday with Brazilian striker Barbosa getting the only goal of the game in the 55th minute. Champions Nagoya Grampus Eight have struggled early on with just one point from their opening two games. They were defeated 3-0 away at Urawa Red Diamonds on Sunday and means that only newly promoted Avispa Fukuoka have a worse record. Having finished third in Division 2 last seaso, Avispa have lost their opening two matches to Albirex Niigata and Shimuzu S-Pulse.
Amongst the traditional heavyweights of the league Kashima Antlers, who won three consecutive titles from 2008-10, have also struggled to get going suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Yokohama Marinos on Saturday. Gamba Osaka and Kawasaki Frontale have had mixed results so far with both winning one and losing one of their games. Both teams, who won their opening fixtures, suffered defeat on matchday 2 with Osaka going down 4-1 at the hands of Sanfreece Hiroshima whilst Kawasaki lost out 2-1 at home to Vegalta Sendai.