Kashiwa, who overwhelmingly won last season's J2, kept their momentum in the opening match and defeated Sapporo 4-2. Olunga was the main threat for the opponents. He contributed greatly to the victory with two goals and one assist, and the attacking trio completed by Cristiano and Esaka is one of the most threatening in the league. On the other hand, they showed some tiredness and disorganization by the end of the game and conceded two goals, something they will try not to repeat.
FC Tokyo topped Shimizu 3-1 in the opening match. They too display a top attacking trio, this time formed by three Brazilians: Diego Oliveira, Adailton, and Leandro. Building on their last season's counter-attacking style, which took them to the second place, FC Tokyo aim to further enhance their scoring ability and win the championship for the first time. The growth of young players such as Kazuya Konno is also an essential factor in achieving their dream.