Tokyo Verdy and Cerezo Osaka kicked off their J2 League campaigns when they played out a 1-1 draw against each other on Sunday.
Both teams are determined to gain promotion this year, with Cerezo relegated at the end of 2014 after several years spent as a regular top flight member.
The match finished a South American affair as Brazilian Alan Pinheiro gave Verdy a 47th minute lead, before Uruguayan Diego Forlan replied for Cerezo in the 79th minute.
Former Manchester United and Atletico Madrid man Forlan moved to Japan last year and scored seven goals in 26 matches, although he was eventually unable to keep his side afloat.
Forlan went down with his side and will now aim to fire them into the top two of the J2 League to gain automatic promotion at the end of this term.
Clubs finishing 3rd to 6th in the 22-team league will play a semi-final [3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5] qualification round, before the winners progress to a final promotion play-off which will determine the third and final team that will be promoted.