Kashima Antlers are the most decorated club in J.League history, with a record eight J1 League titles, double any other team. A huge part of that success has been turning Kashima Soccer Stadium into a true fortress, where they have defeated teams with regularity. On Sunday, the Antlers added to that home-field dominance with a huge 4-0 win over Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo for their 300th J1 League home victory.
Tomoya Inukai got things started with a free header from a corner kick for the first goal, then Diego Pituca was played in on goal and finished with ease for the second. Keigo Tsunemoto and Everaldo both knocked home loose balls in the box to wrap up the victory and Kashima had themselves one of the league’s more dominant victories of the season on a landmark day for the club.
Not only was this a historic 300th home win for Kashima, but it was also crucial in the team’s chase of a top-four place, moving them within two points of Vissel Kobe in the final position for AFC Champions League qualification.
Although Kashima sit in 7th, they have the league’s third highest-scoring attack this season, and a soft part of the schedule coming up as they play a group of teams from the bottom half of the table. If a run at the top part of the table is on the cards, this is likely going to be their chance. The performance over the weekend suggests a fearsome home-field advantage and a deadly attack—two ingredients that will undoubtedly help Kashima in their bid for continental football next season.