J1 Matchweek 34 recap: Sanfrecce pip Urawa for third with late winner

J1 Matchweek 34 recap: Sanfrecce pip Urawa for third with late winner

The 2023 Meiji Yasuda J1 League season came to a close this weekend and the 18 teams put on some marvelous displays to wrap up the campaign. Let’s check in on the final nine matches of the top flight season.

Gamba Osaka 0, Vissel Kobe 1

Genta Miura put the ball in his own net for the lone goal as Vissel celebrated the title they clinched last week with a victory in their final match of the season.

Kyoto Sanga 3, Yokohama F·Marinos 1

A 19th minute red card put Marinos on their heels and Sanga put together a terrific second half to finish their season with a big victory.

Avispa Fukuoka 0, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1

Sanfrecce needed a win to secure third place and a spot in the AFC competitions, and they got just that as Hayato Araki headed home deep into stoppage time for a dramatic winner on the last touch of the season.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 0, Urawa Reds 2

Urawa’s win proved for naught as Sanfrecce won to deny them third place, but the big story was Shinji Ono’s final match as the Japanese football icon said goodbye to his playing career.

Kashima Antlers 2, Yokohama FC 1

Kashima hit on the break twice for a pair of fine goals to hand Yokohama FC a loss in their final match before going down to J2.

Nagoya Grampus 1, Kashiwa Reysol 1

A stoppage time penalty allowed Kasper Junker to tie the match late on and send both Nagoya and Reysol into the winter with an exciting draw.

Sagan Tosu 0, Kawasaki Frontale 1

Frontale were on the front foot for much of the match and were rewarded late when Sagan put the ball in their own net to give the visitors full points.

Albirex Niigata 1, Cerezo Osaka 0

Albirex ended their first campaign back in the top flight in style, beating the Sakura with a beautiful finish by Motoki Nagakura in the 87th minute.

Shonan Bellmare 0, F.C.Tokyo 1

Adaílton’s pretty pass set up Kei Koizumi, whose gorgeous footwork and finish sent F.C.Tokyo into the offseason looking good.