The Top Team
With no losses in nine matches, Omiya Ardija went up against Tochigi SC in Match 14 of the Meiji Yasuda J2 League. Omiya’s relentless attack and 19 attempts at the goal failed to produce any goals, and the match ended in a scoreless draw. The following two matches were played away – Match 15 against Kashiwa Reysol and Match 16 against Avispa Fukuoka, both matches also ending in a 1-1- draw. Back to homeground for Match 17, Omiya welcomed one of their higher ranking rivals, Kyoto Sanga F.C. to NACK5 Stadium. MF Kanji Okunuki’s first goal as a pro, and goals from DF AKinari Kawazura and FW Juanma Delgado gave Omiya the first win in five matches. A rainy Match 18 against FC Gifu started out with Okunuki’s goal, his second in two consecutive matches, but Gifu equalized in the first half. Omiya’s never-give-up spirit paid off at the end, and with a goal by MF Yuta Mikado in the second half additional time, Omiya captured a 2-1 win.
With no losses in 14 matches, Omiya ranks second in the J2 League after 18 matches with 9 wins, 2 losses and 7 draws, securing the position of being automatically promoted to J1.
Omiya Ardija’s U18 participated in the 43rd Japan Club Youth Football Championship (U-18) Kanto Regional Tournament. They shut out Tokyu S Reyes FC 4-0 in the first match of the knock-out stage, and went on to crush Ventforet Kofu U-18 with a 2-1 score. In the semifinal Omiya U18 lost to against Mitsubishi Yowa SC Youth in a penalty shoot-out, however, U18 advanced to the second round and got the right to enter the national tournament in August.
Meanwhile, Omiya Ardija’s U15 is competing in the 2019 Kanto Youth (U-15) Football League. They won Match 10 against Kashiwa Reysol U-15 with a 1-0 score, and also shut out Kashima Antlers Norte 2-0 in Match 11. With three consecutive victories after 11 matches, they are ranked at the top with 9 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. The team toured the Netherlands and France from June 4 – 13 where they trained and played friendly matches, and took part in the Tournoi U15 International 2019 competition.
On Wednesday, June 19, GK Hitoshi Shiota paid a visit to the Omiya Ardija Soccer School in Iwatsuki and enjoyed playing football with the students. After kicking the ball around with first and second grade kids, he took part in a Q & A session. Shiota gave the kids an encouraging message: “Today I was overwhelmed with your energy and received a lot of power from you. I hope some day you will play at NACK5 Stadium Omiya.”
On Friday, May 24, Omiya Ardija carried out the “Omiya Clean Operation”, a program aimed at keeping the hometown clean which is also a part of the “Zero Waste Day: Omiya Clean Mission”. Participating in the operation were not only the club and Omiya Ward citizens, but also the Ardija Business Club, fans and supporters, local citizens, Ardija Supporters Association, Omiya Ardija support staff, and the top team’s MF Masahito Ono and FW Shoi Yoshinaga. A total of 280 participants cleaned up the Omiya Station area. Every fourth Friday of the month and on home game days, the club has carried out 388 cleanup operations so far.