16 November 2008

Mito's Newest Rival Now Unofficially Official

Tochigi SC destroyed the visiting Arte Takasaki 6-1 in an emotional contest to secure the standings position needed to gain promotion to J2 for the 2009 season.

Up to two other teams will enter J2 and Toyama and Okayama both have more than a win advantage over two other top four contenders with 2 games to go.

This result puts a single team in J2 in the 3 north Kanto prefectures. Unfortunately that looks to be it for a while. The only team with even a remote chance to make it in the near future is, unfortunately, Arte Takasaki.

The promotion will be official once the J. League administration gives the formality of its permission.


Mr said...

Should there be 3 promoted clubs there could still be a promotion/relegation playoff with the 4th club of the Regional Playoff Series... RKU cannot spoil the plans...

Vendo Thefastlane said...

Actually, RKU can't play spoiler as their highest possible spot is 5th this year. Yokogawa Musashino still can, though.

Yokogawa is officially amateur and could theoretically be approved for J. League promotion with only a stadium tour if qualified, and that team's website does have a "Road to J. League" section, but there is no official word on what would happen if that team placed 4th or higher.

There is also no official statement on the promotion/relegation match. Previously only two teams could gain promotion to J2 before being modified last year. At that time, there would be up to three new teams added with a playoff for the third spot if needed, and that actual rule wasn't clarified when the number of teams that could be promoted was raised. Last year when three spots opened, the JFA decided not to subject Arte Takasaki to the playoff. This year, with Mitsubishi looking as a possible last place holder and many JFL hopefuls looking to go pro in the near future, the JFA may not be as kind to that company team. It's likely nothing will be decided until near the end of the month.

Vendo Thefastlane said...

I received a mail from Tochigi midfielder Fukasawa. It probably doesn't need to be explained that all of the players are ecstatic right now.

Vendo Thefastlane said...

Oh, and there must be at least one more promotion-looking team now to join Tochigi in the top four. If Yokogawa does not win its last two games there will be definitely be two other such teams.

If either Toyama or Okayama win just one of the remaining two matches, they will guarantee being in the promotion standings. Realistically Tottori must win its last two to make it in the top four, hoping that one of the two above teams can manage no better than a draw and a loss.

This weekend, if Okayama and Toyama win, or if Yokogawa and Tottori lose, you can pretty much bet the bank on an 18-team 2009 J2 that includes Okayama, Tochigi, and Toyama.