The J-League went to a conclusion this weekend with the title race once again going down to the wire.
Yokohama F. Marinos missed the opportunity to lift the trophy last Saturday when they surprisingly lost 2-0 at home to Albirex Niigata. They were in pole position going into the final game, but dropped the away match 1-0 to their Kanagawa rivals Kawasaki Frontale, who maintained their strong run to finish their season.
Defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima capitalized on the error, beating the Kashima Antlers on their own pitch and making up the two-point Marinos title lead with a 2-0 victory over the Antlers, who played the match with a side of 10 following a red card for striker Yuya Osako.
*Also taking place this weekend is the draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Japan will be in pot 3 along with other Asian teams and sides from the CONCACAF region. A worse-case scenario for the Blue Samurai would be a group of death with Brazil, Italy and Holland. Below are the pots in full.
Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland
Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador (Plus one team who will move from pot 4, yet to be decided).
Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras
Bosnia, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Russia, France