The 2022 J.League Asia Challenge went out with a bang.
A Thai Derby, with Chanathip Songkrasin suiting up for Kawasaki Frontale and Supachok Sarachat playing for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, finished in a 3-3 draw as both teams put on a show for the fans in Pathum Thani, Thailand.
The adoring crowd that filled BG Stadium were even treated to Supachok’s first goal for Consa, as the midfielder got on the scoresheet while Chanathip wore the armband for Frontale in a fabulous day for the two Thai national team stars back in their home country.
Consadole were the quick starters, scoring twice in the opening half-hour. First, Toya Nakamura cut into the box before unleashing a low curler that tucked inside the post after just 11 minutes. Then, Supachok slid in to bang home a cross that doubled the Hokkaido lead.
Frontale, who just finished second in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League and have won four of the last six titles, were undeterred, though.
Kento Tachibanada started the Frontale comeback just two minutes after Supachok’s goal, finding some space 20 yards out and hitting a blistering shot that found the back of the net.
Five minutes later, the game was level thanks to Ten Miyagi’s gorgeous curler that found the top corner of the net.
Early in the second half, the men from Sapporo were back in front through Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa. They moved the ball quickly upfield before feeding Ogashiwa, whose clinical finish delighted the fans in black and red.
A victory was not to be, however, as Marcinho wrapped up the scoring a mere two minutes after coming off the bench. The Brazilian raced in to collect a loose ball before knocking it into the back of the net to make it a 3-3 match, which is how it would end.
As the players walked around the pitch after the final whistle applauding the fans, the supporters showed their appreciation back, rounding out a memorable J.League Asia Challenge for everyone from the clubs to the J.League’s terrific Thai fanbase.