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Roasso Kumamoto to aim for J1 promotion against Kyoto Sanga F.C.

Roasso Kumamoto to aim for J1 promotion against Kyoto Sanga F.C.

The promotion-relegation play-off for a place in next season’s Meiji Yasuda J1 League is set, with Roasso Kumamoto to play Kyoto Sanga for a spot in the top flight.

Roasso booked their spot in the match after advancing out of the Meiji Yasuda J2 League promotion play-off. They finished in fourth place in the table to make the four-team promotion tournament, then played to a pair of 2-2 draws in the play-off. Their first draw came against fifth-place Oita Trinita and the second against sixth-place Montedio Yamagata, with Roasso advancing on both occasions thanks to their higher seeding.

Roasso’s rise has been remarkable. They have never played in J1 before, and were down in the fourth tier as recently as 2005, but after being promoted to J2 for 2022, they put together a season to remember and are now on the verge of making the leap to the top flight for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, Kyoto are in the play-off because of their 16th place finish in the first division. They were just promoted to J1 for 2022 and got off to a quick start, but faltered as the season went on and found themselves fighting to stay out of the bottom by the stretch run. Sanga nearly found a way to avoid the bottom three, needing only a win over Júbilo Iwata on the final day to climb out, but they slumped to a scoreless draw to clinch 16th place.

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Will Roasso make history and earn promotion to J1 for the first time? Or will Sanga complete their bid for survival and get another season in the top flight? One match will decide it all!

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