2020 J1 League

The 2020 J1 League, also known as the 2020 Meiji Yasuda J1 League (Japanese: 2020 明治安田生命J1リーグ, Hepburn: 2020 Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 Rīgu) for sponsorship reasons, was the 28th season of the J1 League, the top Japanese professional league for association football clubs, since its establishment in 1993. The league began on 21 February and eventually ended on 19 December 2020. The league was planned to have a season break to avoid clashing with the 2020 Summer Olympics,[2] but the Olympics were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.[3]

J1 League
Season2020
Dates21 February – 19 December 2020
ChampionsKawasaki Frontale (3rd title)
RelegatedNone
AFC Champions LeagueKawasaki Frontale
Gamba Osaka
Nagoya Grampus
Cerezo Osaka
Matches played306
Goals scored857 (2.8 per match)
Top goalscorerMichael Olunga
(28 goals)
Biggest home winUrawa Red Diamonds 6–0 Vegalta Sendai
(18 October 2020)
Biggest away winConsadole Sapporo 1–6 Kawasaki Frontale
(15 August 2020)
Highest scoringNagoya Grampus 6–2 Urawa Red Diamonds
(8 August 2020)
Yokohama F. Marinos 6–2 Urawa Red Diamonds
(14 November 2020)
Longest winning run12 matches
Kawasaki Frontale
Longest unbeaten run13 matches
Kawasaki Frontale
Longest winless run17 matches
Vegalta Sendai
Longest losing run7 matches
Shimizu S-Pulse
Highest attendance34,521[1]
Yokohama F. Marinos 1–2 Gamba Osaka
(23 February 2020)
Lowest attendance1,948[1]
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 4–1 Shimizu S-Pulse
(9 September 2020)
(excluding matches played behind closed doors)
Total attendance1,773,481[1]
Average attendance5,796[1]
(including matches played behind closed doors)
2019
2021

Yokohama F. Marinos were the defending champions while Kashiwa Reysol and Yokohama FC entered the league as promoted teams from the 2019 J2 League, replacing Júbilo Iwata and Matsumoto Yamaga who were relegated to the 2020 J2 League.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemicEdit

On 25 February, all J.League matches until 15 March were postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.[4] After that, it was announced that it would be postponed until 29 March.[5] On 19 March, the J.League announced no relegation would take place for the 2020 season, with the J1 League expanding to 20 clubs for the 2021 season.[6] On 25 March, the league announced that it would be suspended 3 April to 6 May.[7]

On 3 April, the Japan Professional Football League decided to resume the league, gradually resumed J3 from 25 April, J2 from 2 May, and J1 from 9 May.[8] However the league was postponed again.

On 29 May, the JPFL decided to resume the season on 27 June.[9] The season is projected to resume on 4 July.[10] On 9 June, the JPFL announced the new schedule of the 2020 season.[11] On 15 June, it was announced that the first 2 matches in each league (J1, J2, and J3) would be held without spectators. After 10 July, as a general rule, the maximum number of people allowed is 5,000. The stadiums with less than 10,000 capacity would have up to 50% of the capacity. Away supporters are not allowed. After August, the maximum stadium capacity was 50%, and there would be "high alert spectator matches".[12]

After the 11th J.League extraordinary executive committee meeting on 20 July, it was announced that the "super strict alert audience game" extended to 10 August in view of the spread of coronavirus infection.[13]

ClubsEdit

2020 J1 League teams in Keihanshin

For the 2020 season, there were only two changes in the league. Kashiwa Reysol returned as the 2019 J2 League champions and Yokohama FC as runners-up after 13 seasons absence from the top tier of Japanese football. They replaced Matsumoto Yamaga (one season in J1) and Júbilo Iwata (four seasons in J1), who were relegated to the 2020 J2 League.

Meanwhile, Shonan Bellmare remained in the J1 League after defeating Tokushima Vortis in the 2019 J2 League play-off final.

Club Location Stadium Capacity Last Season
Consadole Sapporo Hokkaido Sapporo Dome
Sapporo Atsubetsu Stadium
41,484
20,861
J1 (10th)
Vegalta Sendai Miyagi Prefecture Yurtec Stadium Sendai 19,694 J1 (11th)
Kashima Antlers Ibaraki Prefecture Kashima Soccer Stadium 40,728 J1 (3rd)
Urawa Red Diamonds Saitama Prefecture Saitama Stadium 2002 63,700 J1 (14th)
Kashiwa Reysol Chiba Prefecture Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium 15,900   J2 (champions)
FC Tokyo Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium 49,970 J1 (2nd)
Yokohama FC Kanagawa Prefecture Mitsuzawa Stadium 15,046   J2 (2nd)
Yokohama F. Marinos Nissan Stadium 72,327 J1 (champions)
Shonan Bellmare BMW Stadium Hiratsuka 18,500 J1 (16th)
Kawasaki Frontale Todoroki Stadium 26,232 J1 (4th)
Shimizu S-Pulse Shizuoka Prefecture IAI Stadium 20,339 J1 (12th)
Nagoya Grampus Aichi Prefecture Paloma Mizuho Stadium

Toyota Stadium

27,001

45,000

J1 (13th)
Gamba Osaka Osaka Prefecture Panasonic Stadium Suita 39,694 J1 (7th)
Cerezo Osaka Yanmar Stadium 47,853 J1 (5th)
Vissel Kobe Hyōgo Prefecture Noevir Stadium 30,132 J1 (8th)
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Hiroshima Prefecture Edion Stadium 36,894 J1 (6th)
Oita Trinita Ōita Prefecture Showa Denko Dome Oita 40,000 J1 (9th)
Sagan Tosu Saga Prefecture Ekimae Stadium 24,130 J1 (15th)

Personnel and kitsEdit

Club Manager Captain Kit manufacturer
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo   Mihailo Petrović[14]   Kappa
Vegalta Sendai   Takashi Kiyama[15]   Adidas
Kashima Antlers   Antônio Carlos Zago[16]   Nike
Urawa Red Diamonds   Tsuyoshi Otsuki[17]   Nike
Kashiwa Reysol   Nelsinho Baptista[18]   YONEX
FC Tokyo   Kenta Hasegawa[19]   Umbro
Yokohama FC   Takahiro Shimotaira[20]   Soccer Junky
Yokohama F. Marinos   Ange Postecoglou[21]   Adidas
Shonan Bellmare   Bin Ukishima[22]   Penalty
Kawasaki Frontale   Toru Oniki[23]   Puma
Shimizu S-Pulse   Peter Cklamovski[24]   Puma
Nagoya Grampus   Massimo Ficcadenti[25]   Mizuno
Gamba Osaka   Tsuneyasu Miyamoto[26]   Umbro
Cerezo Osaka   Miguel Ángel Lotina[27]   Puma
Vissel Kobe   Atsuhiro Miura[28]   Asics
Sanfrecce Hiroshima   Hiroshi Jofuku[29]   Nike
Oita Trinita   Tomohiro Katanosaka[30]   Puma
Sagan Tosu   Kim Myung-hwi[31]   New Balance

Managerial changesEdit

Team Outgoing manager Manner of departure Date of vacancy Incoming manager Date of
appointment
Vissel Kobe   Thorsten Fink Change of director 21 September 2020[32]   Atsuhiro Miura 25 September 2020[33]
Shimizu S-Pulse   Peter Cklamovski Sacked 1 November 2020[34]   Hiroaki Hiraoka 1 November 2020[35]

Foreign playersEdit

As of 2020 season, there are no more restrictions on a number of signed foreign players, but clubs can only register up to five foreign players for a single match-day squad.[36] Players from J.League partner nations (Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Qatar) are exempt from these restrictions.

  • Players name in bold indicates the player is registered during the mid-season transfer window.
  • Player's name in italics indicates the player has Japanese nationality in addition to their FIFA nationality, or is exempt from being treated as a foreign player due to having been born in Japan and being enrolled in, or having graduated from school in the country.[37]
Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Player 4 Player 5 Player 6 Player 7 Player 8 Player 9 Player 10 Former players
Consadole Sapporo   Hugo Vieira   Anderson Lopes   Douglas Oliveira   Lucas Fernandes   Jay Bothroyd   Kim Min-tae   Chanathip Songkrasin   Kawin Thamsatchanan   Gu Sung-yun
Vegalta Sendai   Pará   Isaac Cuenca   Alexandre Guedes   Jakub Słowik   Simão Mate Junior   Kim Jung-ya
Kashima Antlers   Léo Silva   Everaldo   Juan Alano   Kwoun Sun-tae
Urawa Red Diamonds   Ewerton   Leonardo   Thomas Deng   Quenten Martinus   Fabrício
  Maurício Antônio
FC Tokyo   Adaílton   Arthur Silva   Diego Oliveira   Leandro   Joan Oumari
Kawasaki Frontale   Diogo Mateus   Jesiel   Leandro Damião   Jung Sung-ryong
Yokohama F. Marinos   Erik   Marcos Júnior   Thiago Martins   Júnior Santos   Theerathon Bunmathan   Edigar Junio
  Park Iru-gyu
Shonan Bellmare   Tarik Elyounoussi   Riuler
Kashiwa Reysol   Michael Olunga   Cristiano   Matheus Sávio   Richardson   Kim Seung-gyu   Júnior Santos
Shimizu S-Pulse   Carlinhos   Elsinho   Junior Dutra   Neto Volpi   Renato Augusto   Valdo   Teerasil Dangda   Hwang Seok-ho
Yokohama FC   Leandro Domingues   Maguinho   Calvin Jong-a-Pin
Nagoya Grampus   Gabriel Xavier   João Schmidt   Mateus   Mitchell Langerak   Oh Jae-suk
Gamba Osaka   Ademilson   Patric   Kim Young-gwon   Shin Won-ho   Lee Yun-oh   Jefferson Tabinas
Cerezo Osaka   Bruno Mendes   Matej Jonjić   Leandro Desábato   Kim Jin-hyeon   Tawan Khotrsupho   Ahn Joon-soo   Pierce Waring   Lucas Mineiro
Vissel Kobe   Dankler   Douglas   Thomas Vermaelen   Andrés Iniesta   Sergi Samper
Sanfrecce Hiroshima   Douglas Vieira   Ezequiel   Leandro Pereira   Rhayner
Sagan Tosu   Eduardo   Tiago Alves   Renzo Lopez   Cho Dong-geon   An Yong-woo   Park Jeong-su   Ryang Yong-gi   Wang Jianan   Kim Min-ho   Park Iru-gyu
Oita Trinita   Mun Kyung-gun

League tableEdit

It was decided on 19 March to change the format regarding the rules for promotion/relegation for the end of the season for the J1, J2 and J3 leagues,[38] such that there would be no relegation this season, that two clubs from the J2 League would be promoted to the 2021 J1 League, and that two clubs from the J3 League would be promoted to the 2021 J2 League (subject to licensing regulations).

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Kawasaki Frontale (C) 34 26 5 3 88 31 +57 83 Qualification for AFC Champions League group stage[a]
2 Gamba Osaka 34 20 5 9 46 42 +4 65
3 Nagoya Grampus 34 19 6 9 45 28 +17 63
4 Cerezo Osaka 34 18 6 10 46 37 +9 60 Qualification for AFC Champions League play-off round[a]
5 Kashima Antlers 34 18 5 11 55 44 +11 59
6 FC Tokyo 34 17 6 11 47 42 +5 57
7 Kashiwa Reysol 34 15 7 12 60 46 +14 52
8 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 34 13 9 12 46 37 +9 48
9 Yokohama F. Marinos 34 14 5 15 69 59 +10 47
10 Urawa Red Diamonds 34 13 7 14 43 56 −13 46
11 Oita Trinita 34 11 10 13 36 45 −9 43
12 Consadole Sapporo 34 10 9 15 47 58 −11 39
13 Sagan Tosu 34 7 15 12 37 43 −6 36
14 Vissel Kobe 34 9 9 16 50 59 −9 36
15 Yokohama FC 34 9 6 19 38 60 −22 33
16 Shimizu S-Pulse 34 7 7 20 48 70 −22 28
17 Vegalta Sendai 34 6 10 18 36 61 −25 28
18 Shonan Bellmare 34 6 9 19 29 48 −19 27
Source: Meiji Yasuda J1 League
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Head-to-head points; 4) Head-to-head goal difference; 5) Head-to-head goal scored; 6) Number of wins; 7) Goals scored; 8) Fair-play points.
(C) Champion
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Since the winners of the 2020 Emperor's Cup, Kawasaki Frontale, qualified for the Champions League group stage, the spot given to the Emperor's Cup winners (Champions League group stage) was passed to the third-placed team and the spot given to the third-place team (Champions League play-off round) was passed to the fourth-placed team.

Results tableEdit

Home \ Away ANT BEL CER CON FMA FRO GAM GRA REY RED SAG SFR SSP TOK TRI VEG VIS YFC
Kashima Antlers 1–0 1–1 0–2 4–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–4 4–0 2–0 1–0 2–0 2–2 0–2 2–1 2–2 3–2
Shonan Bellmare 1–0 0–1 0–0 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–1 3–2 2–3 0–0 1–1 0–3 0–1 1–2 0–1 1–1 1–0
Cerezo Osaka 1–2 1–0 2–0 4–1 1–3 1–1 0–2 0–0 3–0 1–2 0–1 2–0 0–0 1–0 2–1 0–0 1–0
Consadole Sapporo 1–0 2–1 1–3 3–1 1–6 0–1 0–0 0–1 3–4 1–1 0–2 5–1 1–1 1–1 3–3 2–3 3–0
Yokohama F. Marinos 2–3 3–2 1–2 4–1 1–3 1–2 2–1 1–1 6–2 1–1 3–1 3–0 1–3 4–0 3–1 2–3 4–0
Kawasaki Frontale 2–1 3–1 5–2 0–2 3–1 5–0 3–0 3–1 3–1 0–0 5–1 5–0 2–1 2–0 1–0 3–2 3–2
Gamba Osaka 2–0 0–1 1–2 2–1 1–1 0–1 2–1 2–1 1–3 1–1 1–0 0–2 1–3 2–1 0–4 1–0 2–1
Nagoya Grampus 1–3 3–1 1–0 3–0 2–1 1–0 2–2 0–1 6–2 1–0 1–0 3–1 1–0 0–0 1–0 2–1 0–0
Kashiwa Reysol 2–3 3–2 1–3 4–2 1–3 2–3 3–0 0–1 1–1 1–2 1–1 0–0 0–1 1–1 5–1 4–3 1–3
Urawa Red Diamonds 1–0 0–0 3–1 0–2 0–0 0–3 1–2 0–1 0–4 2–2 1–0 1–1 0–1 2–1 6–0 1–2 0–2
Sagan Tosu 0–2 2–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–1 1–2 0–0 2–1 0–1 0–0 1–1 3–0 2–2 0–1 0–1 3–0
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3–0 1–0 1–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 1–2 2–0 0–1 1–1 3–0 4–1 3–3 1–2 1–1 2–1 1–1
Shimizu S-Pulse 1–2 1–1 3–1 3–1 3–4 2–2 1–2 1–2 1–2 1–2 1–1 2–3 1–3 4–2 2–3 3–1 2–3
FC Tokyo 1–2 3–0 2–0 1–0 0–4 0–4 0–1 1–0 1–3 2–0 2–3 1–0 3–1 2–3 1–0 1–0 2–1
Oita Trinita 1–4 2–2 0–1 1–1 1–0 1–0 0–1 0–3 0–0 0–0 2–0 0–2 2–1 0–1 0–2 1–1 1–0
Vegalta Sendai 1–3 0–0 2–3 2–2 0–1 2–3 1–4 1–1 0–2 1–2 0–3 0–0 0–0 2–2 0–3 2–3 0–0
Vissel Kobe 1–3 0–2 0–1 4–0 3–3 2–2 0–2 1–0 2–3 0–1 4–3 0–3 3–1 2–2 1–1 1–2 1–1
Yokohama FC 1–0 4–2 1–2 1–2 3–1 1–5 0–2 3–2 0–3 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–0 2–3 1–1 2–1
Source: Meiji Yasuda J1 League
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Season statisticsEdit

Top scorersEdit

Rank Player Club Goals
1   Michael Olunga Kashiwa Reysol 28
2   Everaldo Kashima Antlers 18
3   Leandro Pereira Sanfrecce Hiroshima 15
4   Yu Kobayashi Kawasaki Frontale 14
5   Erik Yokohama F. Marinos 13
  Kaoru Mitoma Kawasaki Frontale
  Júnior Santos Yokohama F. Marinos
  Leandro Damião Kawasaki Frontale
9   Kyogo Furuhashi Vissel Kobe 12
10   Leonardo Urawa Red Diamonds 11
  Marcos Júnior Yokohama F. Marinos
  Akihiro Ienaga Kawasaki Frontale

Hat-tricksEdit

Player Club Against Result Date
  Michael Olunga Kashiwa Reysol Vegalta Sendai 5–1 (H) 26 July 2020
  Everaldo Kashima Antlers Oita Trinita 4–1 (A) 1 August 2020
  Naoki Maeda4 Nagoya Grampus Urawa Red Diamonds 6–2 (H) 8 August 2020
  Shun Nagasawa Vegalta Sendai Gamba Osaka 4–0 (A) 14 November 2020
  Júnior Santos Yokohama F. Marinos Urawa Red Diamonds 6–2 (H) 14 November 2020
  Akihiro Ienaga Kawasaki Frontale Gamba Osaka 5–0 (H) 25 November 2020
  • 4 Player scored 4 goals

AttendancesEdit

Pos Team Total High Low Average Change
1 Kawasaki Frontale 77,587 21,117 0 6,466 −72.2%
2 Yokohama F. Marinos 90,196 34,521 0 6,443 −76.1%
3 Nagoya Grampus 67,997 11,854 0 6,182 −77.6%
4 Cerezo Osaka 72,310 15,535 0 6,026 −72.0%
5 Vissel Kobe 69,243 25,059 0 5,476 −74.5%
6 Urawa Red Diamonds 66,463 9,831 0 5,113 −85.0%
7 Gamba Osaka 47,042 9,313 0 4,863 −82.4%
8 Shimizu S-Pulse 55,698 17,549 0 4,642 −69.1%
9 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 50,669 18,713 0 4,606 −66.8%
10 Oita Trinita 54,196 8,570 0 4,516 −70.6%
11 FC Tokyo 53,887 8,166 0 4,491 −85.8%
12 Shonan Bellmare 48,734 13,071 0 4,430 −63.4%
13 Kashima Antlers 33,760 6,982 0 3,943 −80.8%
14 Sagan Tosu 40,780 8,574 0 3,722 −75.3%
15 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 47,111 5,359 2,039 3,624 −80.7%
16 Vegalta Sendai 36,113 13,968 0 3,611 −75.9%
17 Kashiwa Reysol 36,144 12,468 0 3,012 −68.2%
18 Yokohama FC 32,184 5,163 0 2,926 −58.6%
League total 1,003,539 34,521 0 4,711 −77.3%

Updated to games played on 18 October 2020
Source: J. League Data
Notes:
Promoted from J2

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit