The Top Team
Omiya Ardija was in third place with 74 points as they faced Zweigen Kanazawa in their last match of this season’s Meiji Yasuda J2 League against. Ardija trailed second place Yokohama FC with only a two-point difference, and in order to capture an automatic promotion to J1, they needed to win this match and finish at second place in J2. Encouraged by some 1,500 supporters who travelled all the way to Kanazawa, Ardija went on the offensive from the onset but couldn’t break the tie and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Drawing the season’s last three matches, Ardija finished third in the J2 League. The first round of the playoffs took place at home against sixth place Montedio Yamagata, but Ardija suffered a crushing 0-2 defeat and lost in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. Ardija will play the 2020 season in J2, fighting again for a place in the top league.
The Saitama City Cup “Omiya Ardija vs. Club Nacional de Football” will take place at NACK5 Stadium Omiya on February 9, 2020. Club Nacional de Football is a prestigious Uruguay club, well known around the world for the young and talented football players coming out of their Academy. The match will kick off at 1 p.m.
Omiya Ardija’s U18 team played against Kashiwa Reysol in Match 16 of the Prince Takamado Trophy JFA U-18 Football Premier League 2019 East, drawing 0-0. They went on to shut out Shoshi High School 2-0 in Match 17, but were defeated 0-2 by Shimizu S-Pulse in Match 18 and completed all matches in this year’s premier league. With 21 points, Ardija’s U18 finished sixth out of ten teams and defended their place in the premier league.
Omiya’s top team players visited Ardija soccer schools around Saitama. GK Takashi Kasahara and FW Kazuaki Saso went to the Fukaya School where they took part in a match with the school students. GK Kasahara played as a field player and FW Saso showed some incredible moves, creating a lot of excitement among the participants. GK Yuki Kato and MF Masahito Ono dropped into the Konosu School. GK Kato energetically encouraged the students along, while MF Ono scored a goal and celebrated with the students with a high five.
At the close of the 2019 season, representatives of the club paid a courtesy visit to Saitama Governor Motohiro Ono, the Saitama Prefectural Assembly, and the mayors of the five wards of Ardija’s hometown of Saitama City – Nishi Ward, Kita Ward, Omiya Ward, Minuma Ward, and Iwatsuki Ward. Omiya Ardija’s president Masashi Mori, head coach Takuya Takagi and DF Daisuke Watabe visited the prefectural office to express the club’s gratitude toward the support throughout the season and their determination for the next season. Governor Ono encouraged the club saying, “We experienced glad and sad by turns and passionately supported the club throughout the season, so it was a disappointing result for many. We hope Ardija will be able to make Saitama’s citizen’s wish come true next year.”
Ardija’s “appeal players” for each ward in Saitama City – DF Akinari Kawazura, MF Masato Kojima, MF Yuta Mikado, MF Keisuke Oyama, and MF Toshiki Ishikawa – paid a visit to the hometown’s wards, thanking the ward staff for their cooperation toward Omiya Ardija’s activities and requesting their continued support next year.