Omiya Ardija won the 2015 MEIJI YASUDA J2 League Championship on Saturday following their 3-2 comeback victory over Oita Trinita, earning praise from J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai.
Ardija earned promotion to the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League for the 2016 season following a hugely impressive campaign in which they pipped second-placed Jubilo Iwata by a matter of four points.
With the race going to the wire, Murai also hailed the increasing quality of Japan’s second tier.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Omiya Ardija for winning the 2015 Meiji Yasuda J2 League championship and earning promotion to the J1 League,” the official stated.
“The J2 has become increasingly competitive in recent years due to an increase in both newly-promoted, clubs as well as clubs with experience in J1.
“We expected another tough battle for promotion in this year’s J2 campaign. From the outset of the competition, Omiya Ardija steadily accumulated points and have not relinquished their position since reaching the top of the table on matchday 15.
“Ardija needed to win today’s match in order to secure the championship, and their last-second, come-from-behind victory was emblematic of the tenacity and dedication of all of those who support the club.
“Under manager Hiroki Shibuya, the club’s young players have prospered with the steady support of their veteran team-mates.
“Their characteristic defending abilities allowed the league’s most potent offence to flourish, frequently overwhelming opponents.
“Ardija’s promotion marks the return of the fan-favourite Saitama Derby against Urawa Reds, which will lend even more excitement to the sport in Saitama Prefecture.
“I hope that Ardija will continue demonstrate their fighting spirit, both the final day of the season and next year in the J1.”
The popular side were relegated in the 2014 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League campaign, but their excellent form since going a division down ensures they have risen back up after just one season.