The final round of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League took place on December 7, and Yokohama F.Marinos lifted the trophy after beating FC Tokyo.
The largest crowd in J1 history, 63,854 spectators, gathered for the historical match between table leaders Yokohama F.Marinos and second-place FC Tokyo.
Yokohama had a huge initial advantage, as a three-point advantage in the table and a better goal difference meant they could have claimed the title even by losing by three. Things got even better for them when Thai international Theerathon scored the first goal in the 26th minute. Brazilian striker Erik added another before the end of the half and the home side returned to the locker room with a two-goal lead.
Goalkeeper Park Iru-gyu was sent off in the 67th minute, but 22-year-old Japanese international winger Keita Endo scored the third goal from a counterattack some ten minutes later. Yokohama kept a clean sheet and the game ended with a 3-0 result.
F.Marinos reached 70 points after beating their direct rivals and clinched their fourth league title, the first since 2004.
Second-place FC Tokyo and third-place Kashima Antlers qualified for next season’s AFC Champions League. Seventeenth-place Matsumoto Yamaga and eighteenth-place Jubilo Iwata were relegated to J2, while sixteenth-place Shonan Bellmare will play in the play-off against a J2 side, in hope of staying up in J1.