The close of the month of March brought about a chance to hand out awards. Specifically the Konami Monthly MVP awards for players across the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE divisions.
In the top flight, Sho Inagaki was handed top honors. The Nagoya Grampus midfielder was instrumental in limiting opponents to just one goal all month, as he cut out counterattacks and shielded the back line in impressive fashion. Inagaki also added three goals, all in 1-0 victories, to cap a sensational run of play in all facets.
In the second division, Yoshiaki Takagi was the clear choice to take home Konami MVP honors. He scored five goals and chipped in with four assists, starring as Albirex Niigata got off to an undefeated start to their campaign. In J3, Shota Kawanishi’s three goals for FC Gifu earned him the award.
In addition to the Konami MVP awards, the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE also awarded Manager and Goal of the Month honors.
Inagaki’s boss Massimo Ficcadenti was named the top manager in J1, leading Nagoya to six wins in as many matches in February and March. Led by the defensive mastermind, Nagoya conceded just one goal over the two months.
Meanwhile, Leandro Damião took home Goal of the Month thanks to his spectacular strike in Matchweek 5. The Brazilian took the ball down with one touch, turned and fired from nearly half-field to beat the goalkeeper and score Kawasaki Frontale’s only goal of the match.
In J2, Albirex Niigata’s Albert was awarded Manager of the Month. His side won each of their matches in February and March and outscored their opponents by an astounding 17-3. Jungo Fujimoto won Goal of the Week with a 93rd minute effort in Matchweek 4 that saw him cut in past one defender and hit a gorgeous curler to win the match.
Finally, in J3, Takayoshi Amma was named top manager for leading FC Gifu to an undefeated month and a +6 goal difference, while Kensei Nakashima won Goal of the Month.