The Top Team
Omiya Ardija’s top team competing in the J2 league lost two matches in a row – Match 24 against Tokushima Vortis and Match 25 against Matsumoto Yamaga FC. But in Match 26 against Roasso Kumamoto, Omiya came back from behind and captured a win with goals from DF Noriyoshi Sakai and FW Genki Omae. After being defeated 1-2 in Match 27 by Tokyo Verdy, Omiya overwhelmed Ehime FC 5-1 in Match 28 with Omae scoring three of the five goals. In the following match against Albirex Niigata, Omiya led with goals by MF Mateus and MF Akimi Barada and maintained their lead to win 2-1. After 29 league matches, Omiya stands at fifth place with 14 wins, 10 losses and 5 ties. Omae is at the top of the goal scoring race with 16 goals.
Omiya Ardija’s youth team played in the 42nd Japan Club Youth (U-18) Football Championship, which took part from July 22 to August 1. They finished the group stage with 2 wins and 1 draw and advanced to the Round of 16. Shutting out Kashima Antlers Youth 2-0, they defeated Sagan Tosu U-18 in the closely fought quarterfinal with a 3-2 score. In the semifinal against Sanfrecce Hiroshima Youth, Omiya came from behind to even the score in additional time with a goal from GK Hikaru Murata. After a fiercely battled extended time, Omiya prevailed 3-2 and advanced to the final for the second time. It has been three years since Omiya’s youth team last played in the final. Hoping to capture their first championship title, they went up against Shimizu S-Pulse Youth, but were shut out 0-2. Omiya received the Fair Play award, and Shoi Yoshinaga won the MIP and the Top Goal Scorer awards (with six goals).
Fifth and sixth graders from Omiya Ardija Soccer School’s “select class” and “GK class” took part in a friendly match on August 5.
Fifty students in fourth grade and fifth grade participated in the “Summer Camp in Minakami” during July 21-23, and enjoyed camping activities with their football pals.
The “NTT docomo presents the 11th Omiya Ardija Orange! Happy!! Smile Cup!!!” was organized on August 4 and 5, with the participation of 16 teams and about 360 players and staff members from all over Saitama Prefecture playing in the knock-out tournament. Team Sakura and Saitama Sakura High School won the semifinal and the two teams will play in the final, which took place before the August 26 top team match against Renofa Yamaguchi FC.
As part of the celebration of the club’s 20th anniversary, elementary school students were invited to experience the media business, thanks to the cooperation of Asahi Shimbun and TV Saitama. Twenty-three students participated and conducted interviews with professional players and experienced other hands-on activities.
July and August are the season for summer festivals, and a very busy time for club mascots Ardy and Miya. They took part in the 31st Spark Carnival / Kanezuka Bazaar on August 1, and on August 2 they made an appearance at the Nakasendo Festival 2018. They continued to participate in various events including the 22nd Higashi-Omiya Summer Festival, the 47th Omiya Nisshin Tanabata Festival, and the Saitama Shin-toshin Summer Festival 2018 SUPER KIDS FESTA.
In support of the J.League “Team as One” charity, Omiya Ardija together with its Players Association and OB Association held a charity auction from August 10 to 21.