Kashiwa dominated last year’s J2, the Japanese second division, to achieve a speedy comeback to the top flight. This year, they hope to repeat their 2011 season when they incredibly won J1 in the season following promotion.
The team is led by manager Nelsinho, just like in that historic season, and was reinforced in each position with quality players such as Kim Seung-gyu. The Brazilian coach has a strong affinity with victory and adapts flexible tactics for each opponents. Intense defense in particular is crucial to Nelsinho’s philosophy. At the same time, the two powerful strikers Olunga and Cristiano make Reysol’s attack very hard to deal with, continuously posing serious threats, often from counterattacks. Kashiwa had a great start of the season, defeating Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 4-2 in their first match back in J1.
The Kenyan international striker boasts wonderful physical ability; his power, speed and size are all above average, providing the capability of scoring goals in many diverse ways. Olunga netted a record-breaking eight goals in a single match on the last day of J2 in the past season, and already scored a brace in the opening match this season.
The biggest assets of the South Korean international goalkeeper, who joined form Ulsan Hyundai, are great reflexes and accurate delivery. He also has a rich experience in J.League, as he was between the sticks for three and a half seasons at Vissel Kobe. The competition with Japan goalkeeper Kosuke Nakamura will be very intense!