Yokohama FC won just one of their first 21 matches and looked like a lock for relegation, but now they are winners of two in a row and unbeaten in three. All of a sudden, they are the hottest team in the relegation zone and just nine points from safety. The path to survival is right in front of them.
This weekend, they continue down that path in Miyagi Prefecture, where they visit Vegalta Sendai in a huge relegation battle.
Vegalta, like Yokohama FC, are in the relegation zone. They are only five points from safety, but they haven’t won in their last seven league matches. The issue for Vegalta has been up front, with just one goal in their last four matches; nobody on the team has scored five this season.
Yokohama had been plagued by the opposite issue, as their defense shipped far more goals than any other team this season, but they’ve sorted that out on this recent run. They’ve kept a pair of clean sheets in their two consecutive wins, and the addition of Svend Brodersen in goal appears to have stabilized the defense.
Can Yokohama FC stay red hot and continue their climb to safety? It appears as if they may just have the defense to do that, but Vegalta will be desperate to kickstart their attack and find their own path out of the bottom four.
It’s a relegation battle at Yurtec Stadium Sendai, and the result may just determine who we see in the top flight next season.