Kashiwa end Matchweek 2 on top of the table after discarding Marinos

Kashiwa end Matchweek 2 on top of the table after discarding Marinos

The Meiji Yasuda J1 League is through two matchweeks and the team sitting on top of the table is … Kashiwa Reysol! The Gold and Black defeated Yokohama F·Marinos, 3-1, and are the only team to have taken six points from two matches, putting them in first.

Marinos were actually first off, scoring after just five minutes through Anderson Lopes, but Mao Hosoya answered within 20 minutes to level the match. The home crowd roared their approval as Reysol were back in the match, but the game-changing moment came in the 35th minute when Shinnosuke Hatanaka was shown his second yellow card and Marinos were reduced to 10 men.

Reysol jumped on the front foot with their man advantage, especially in the second half, pinning Marinos deep and pressing every chance they got. That paid off at the hour mark when their press forced a bad giveaway from Marinos and allowed Douglas to bang the ball into an open net.

The home side’s advantage grew in the 87th minute when Tomoki Iwata was shown a red card. Up two men, Reysol added a third goal through Tomoya Koyamatsu and they were on their way to victory.

It was a disappointing afternoon for the Tricolor, who were riding high after their thrashing of defending champions Kawasaki Frontale, but they ran into an in-form Reysol who dispatched them with relative ease and the advantage of multiple Marinos red cards.

Reysol started the season with a win away to Shonan Bellmare and now have three points against Marinos too. It’s been a wildly impressive start to the campaign, with the attack that sputtered at times last season delivering goals by the bundle. Their efforts have landed them atop the table and, while it may be early, there’s no doubt they deserve it. They’ve been the class of the league’s first two weeks and the table shows it.