Ohashi double kicks off new season as Sanfrecce win in stadium opener

Ohashi double kicks off new season as Sanfrecce win in stadium opener

The new man in Hiroshima was the star in the opening of Hiroshima’s new stadium as Yuki Ohashi scored twice to lead Sanfrecce Hiroshima to a 2-0 win over Urawa Reds in the opening match of the 2024 Meiji Yasuda J1 League season.

Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima was buzzing for the first-ever J.League match at the brand new ground. The visiting Urawa fans traveled in droves, while the home fans were in full voice for the much-anticipated kickoff to the new campaign.

Sanfrecce added Ohashi in the winter with the hope that he could be their attacking star and the new signing made his mark before his first 45 minutes were even up. Shusaku Nishikawa could only parry a long shot by Makoto Mitsuta, allowing Ohashi to rush onto the rebound and bang it into the back of the net for the first goal at the new stadium.

10 minutes after halftime, Ohashi struck again when he flashed across goal to meet a cross and expertly headed it into the side netting for a beautiful finish.

It was clear that fortune was on Sanfrecce's side too. Urawa pushed hard late and could have easily scored at least one, if not two, coming closest when they hit the bar in stoppage time, but everything went the Viola's way in this season opener.

Ohashi moved to Hiroshima from Shonan Bellmare in the winter and was billed as the man to push Sanfrecce into title contention after back-to-back third place finishes for the Three Arrows. It’s only been one match, but he looked every bit as good as the gorgeous EDION Peace Wing Hiroshima on Friday and made sure it was a day Sanfrecce fans would never forget.