Murai: Sanfrecce flawless in second stage victory

Murai: Sanfrecce flawless in second stage victory

J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai hailed “flawless” Sanfrecce Hiroshima following their victorious MEIJI YASUDA J1 League second stage campaign on Sunday.

Hajime Moriyasu’s men defeated Shonan Bellmare 5-0 to clinch top spot in the second stage standings as well as the overall table, thus securing them a place at the post-season championship final.

And the achievement prompted Murai to state how impressed he was with the standards of football the 2013 champions played over the course of the season.

“I would like to congratulate Sanfrecce Hiroshima on winning the J1 League Second Stage as well as qualifying for the 2015 J.League championship as the club with the most overall points,” the official said.

“The atmosphere at Edion Stadium was fantastic today, with over 33,000 fans painting the stands purple. 

“As one would expect from the team with the most goals scored and fewest goals allowed this season, Sanfrecce played impressively flawless football both in offence and defence. 

“Manager Moriyasu skillfully integrated young players and newcomers into his squad this season, combining their efforts with those of the team’s veterans to take full advantage of everyone’s individual talent.

“The performances of Takuma Asano and Gakuto Notsuda, both of whom are eligible to compete in next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio, were incredibly promising.

“Hisato Sato tied the all-time J.League scoring record, and Sanfrecce played appropriately for having set a new points record in the league’s 18-club era.

“Teams will need to play winning football in order to progress in the J.League championship. 

“I expect Sanfrecce, who will appear in the finals, to continue their excellent play in their quest to become league champions.”

The championship begins with the semi-finals on November 28, with first stage winners Urawa Reds and last season’s champions Gamba Osaka the other teams set to appear.