Ehime FC are the champions of the Meiji Yasuda J3 League!
The Matsuyama club clinched the third division crown after just 35 matches, beating FC Imabari, 1-0, to move 12 points clear atop the table with three weeks remaining.
Ehime started the season with a rough 5-1 loss in the opener, but they’ve been phenomenal ever since. They went on a nine-match win streak to climb from the bottom of the table to the top three and in Matchweek 17 they had taken over first place. They never relinquished that top spot again.
Riki Matsuda has led the way for Ehime, scoring 13 goals, which is good for third-most in J3. He’s been aided by Shunsuke Motegi, whose nine assists are second-most in the league, so it was fitting that Motegi fed Matsuda for the goal that beat FC Imabari and clinched the title for Ehime.
The championship marks Ehime’s first J3 title and their first third division crown since 2005, when they won the Japan Football League. Now they are headed back to J2, where they spent 16 seasons, from 2006-2021.