Mito's entire squad went to Kashiwa on Sunday. The top team fought incredibly hard but came away with the season's first loss. Captain Owada was red carded for a challenge, probably fairly, just before the break. Mito kept the game scoreless until the last minute, when Kashiwa's Otsu (born and raised in Mito) took the what should have been inevitable win.
Despite the loss, keeper Honma took keeper of the round honors for his typically great defense.
This game-saving defense was highlighted the next day, as the reserve squads of both clubs faced each other and backup keeper Ono took the duty. The home side won by a score rarely seen in Japanese pro matches, with Mito's two goals from backup forwards Katayama and Shiratani.