Blue skies again at Kawasaki’s last home game of the season. Frontale were hoping they would be able to catch Kashima, three points ahead at the top of the league, by beating the visitors from west Japan. They were also hoping that they would be able to repeat their fine performance of last week, which saw them run riot and beat Osaka 4-0. The small, but very vocal contingent from Kobe were hoping their team would prove a sterner test.
It was the Fronatele fans in blue who were cheering loudest after only four minutes as Chong Tese opened Kawasaki’s account with a composed finish in the box after good work down the left. After the early breakthrough the home side seemed to sit back and Kobe had a number of half chances, some of which were stopped by fine goalkeeping from Kawashima, some of which were caused by Kawashima, who was having a real Jekyll and Hyde game. Nerves were calmed early in the second half as the North Korean striker, Tese, scored his second. That was the signal for Kobe to collapse as Juninho scored the third within five minutes and Kobe lost Kitamoto to a second yellow card in the build up.
The crowd were urging Tese on for a hatrick but it wasn’t to be, the striker being substituted late on. The fourth goal, clinically swept in by Renatinho just before the final whistle. While it was a great ending for Frontale, the fans were disappointed to hear the news that Kashima had got a late, late winner against Iwata to all but secure the championship with one game to go.