The Meiji Yasuda J2 League’s season has come to a close and that brings with it the final Konami monthly awards of 2023 for the second division.
Masaya Matsumoto claimed Konami Monthly MVP for his scintillating finish to the season. He scored in Júbilo Iwata’s win over Mito HollyHock in the season’s penultimate game and then was the absolute star on the biggest day of the season.
Júbilo needed a win to earn second place and the automatic promotion spot that comes with it, but found themselves down a goal to Tochigi SC when Matsumoto picked up an assist on the equalizer before netting the winner and promotion clincher.
The Konami Goal of the Month went to Hikaru Nakahara for his mesmerizing finish in Matchweek 41. The Tokyo Verdy man buried a free kick from more than 30 yards for a spectacular goal that not only won his side the match, 1-0, but proved crucial in their securing of third place and a spot in the promotion play-offs.
Finally, Akinobu Yokouchi won Manager of the Month honors after guiding Júbilo to their late comeback for promotion. The two wins in November and especially the steely nerve to come-from-behind on the final day to snatch second place was the work of an assured leader. Now, Yokouchi is the boss of a team heading to the top flight.