Kashiwa Reysol will have only four
days to enjoy their maiden J-League title before they embark on
their maiden Club World Cup campaign as the representatives of
hosts Japan later this week.
Kashiwa, promoted to the top flight at the start of the
season, beat Urawa Reds 3-1 in front of 54,000 fans at Saitama
Stadium on Saturday to pip defending champions Nagoya Grampus to
the title by a point.
The victory, ensured by goals from Brazilian Jorge Wagner,
Wataru Hashimoto and Akimi Barada, means they will join the
likes of European champions Barcelona and South American
champions Santos in the seven-team tournament that runs from
"It was a fitting finish to the season because we spent more
than 80 percent of the time on top," the team's Brazilian coach
Nelsinho told the Kyodo news agency.
"Today, we played the way we've been playing all year... I
am very proud to be champions with this staff, with these
Kashiwa open their Club World Cup campaign against New
Zealand's Auckland City in Toyota Stadium on Thursday with the
winners going on to play Mexico's Monterrey for a chance to meet
Santos in the semi-finals.
"I know we could play Santos in the Club World Cup, but we
shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves," said former Sao Paulo
attacking midfielder Wagner. "We've got Auckland City first and
that's who we need to think about."
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