2020 J1 League

Last updated
J1 League
Season 2020
Dates21 February – 19 December 2020
Champions Kawasaki Frontale (3rd title)
RelegatedNone
AFC Champions League Kawasaki Frontale
Gamba Osaka
Nagoya Grampus
Cerezo Osaka (play-off)
Matches played306
Goals scored857 (2.8 per match)
Top goalscorer Michael Olunga
(28 goals)
Biggest home win Urawa Red Diamonds 6–0 Vegalta Sendai
(18 October 2020)
Biggest away win Consadole Sapporo 1–6 Kawasaki Frontale
(15 August 2020)
Highest scoring Nagoya 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
Total attendance17,615
Average attendance6,280
2019
2021

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, [1] but the Olympics were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. [2]

Contents

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 pandemic

On 25 February, all J.League matches until 15 March were postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. [3] After that, it was announced that it would be postponed until 29 March. [4] 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. [5] On 25 March, the league announced that it would be suspended 3 April to 6 May. [6]

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. [7] However the league was postponed again.

On 29 May, the JPFL decided to resume the season on 27 June. [8] The season is projected to resume on 4 July. [9] On 9 June, the JPFL announced the new schedule of the 2020 season. [10] 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". [11]

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. [12]

Clubs

Japan location map zoom Tokai, Hokuriku, and Kansai.png
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.

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

Toyota Stadium

27,001

45,000

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

Personnel and kits

ClubManagerCaptainKit manufacturer
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo Flag of Serbia.svg Mihailo Petrović [13] Flag of Italy.svg Kappa
Vegalta Sendai Flag of Japan.svg Takashi Kiyama [14] Flag of Germany.svg Adidas
Kashima Antlers Flag of Brazil.svg Antônio Carlos Zago [15] Flag of the United States.svg Nike
Urawa Red Diamonds Flag of Japan.svg Tsuyoshi Otsuki [16] Flag of the United States.svg Nike
Kashiwa Reysol Flag of Brazil.svg Nelsinho Baptista [17] Flag of Japan.svg YONEX
FC Tokyo Flag of Japan.svg Kenta Hasegawa [18] Flag of England.svg Umbro
Yokohama FC Flag of Japan.svg Takahiro Shimotaira [19] Flag of Japan.svg Soccer Junky
Yokohama F. Marinos Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ange Postecoglou [20] Flag of Germany.svg Adidas
Shonan Bellmare Flag of Japan.svg Bin Ukishima [21] Flag of Brazil.svg Penalty
Kawasaki Frontale Flag of Japan.svg Toru Oniki [22] Flag of Germany.svg Puma
Shimizu S-Pulse Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Cklamovski [23] Flag of Germany.svg Puma
Nagoya Grampus Flag of Italy.svg Massimo Ficcadenti [24] Flag of Japan.svg Mizuno
Gamba Osaka Flag of Japan.svg Tsuneyasu Miyamoto [25] Flag of England.svg Umbro
Cerezo Osaka Flag of Spain.svg Miguel Ángel Lotina [26] Flag of Germany.svg Puma
Vissel Kobe Flag of Japan.svg Atsuhiro Miura [27] Flag of Japan.svg Asics
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Flag of Japan.svg Hiroshi Jofuku [28] Flag of the United States.svg Nike
Oita Trinita Flag of Japan.svg Tomohiro Katanosaka [29] Flag of Germany.svg Puma
Sagan Tosu Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Myung-hwi [30] Flag of the United States.svg New Balance

Managerial changes

TeamOutgoing managerManner of departureDate of vacancyIncoming managerDate of
appointment
Vissel Kobe Flag of Germany.svg Thorsten Fink Change of director21 September 2020 [31] Flag of Japan.svg Atsuhiro Miura 25 September 2020 [32]
Shimizu S-Pulse Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Cklamovski Sacked1 November 2020 [33] Flag of Japan.svg Hiroaki Hiraoka 1 November 2020 [34]

Foreign players

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. [35] Players from J.League partner nations (Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Qatar) are exempt from these restrictions.

ClubPlayer 1Player 2Player 3Player 4Player 5Player 6Player 7Player 8Player 9Player 10Former players
Consadole Sapporo Flag of Portugal.svg Hugo Vieira Flag of Brazil.svg Anderson Lopes Flag of Brazil.svg Douglas Oliveira Flag of Brazil.svg Lucas Fernandes Flag of England.svg Jay Bothroyd Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Min-tae Flag of Thailand.svg Chanathip Songkrasin Flag of Thailand.svg Kawin Thamsatchanan Flag of South Korea.svg Gu Sung-yun
Vegalta Sendai Flag of Brazil.svg Pará Flag of Spain.svg Isaac Cuenca Flag of Portugal.svg Alexandre Guedes Flag of Poland.svg Jakub Słowik Flag of Mozambique.svg Simão Mate Junior Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Jung-ya
Kashima Antlers Flag of Brazil.svg Léo Silva Flag of Brazil.svg Everaldo Flag of Brazil.svg Juan Alano Flag of South Korea.svg Kwoun Sun-tae
Urawa Red Diamonds Flag of Brazil.svg Ewerton Flag of Brazil.svg Leonardo Flag of Australia (converted).svg Thomas Deng Flag of Curacao.svg Quenten Martinus Flag of Brazil.svg Fabrício
Flag of Brazil.svg Maurício Antônio
FC Tokyo Flag of Brazil.svg Adaílton Flag of Brazil.svg Arthur Silva Flag of Brazil.svg Diego Oliveira Flag of Brazil.svg Leandro Flag of Lebanon.svg Joan Oumari
Kawasaki Frontale Flag of Brazil.svg Diogo Mateus Flag of Brazil.svg Jesiel Flag of Brazil.svg Leandro Damião Flag of South Korea.svg Jung Sung-ryong
Yokohama F. Marinos Flag of Brazil.svg Erik Flag of Brazil.svg Marcos Júnior Flag of Brazil.svg Thiago Martins Flag of Brazil.svg Júnior Santos Flag of Thailand.svg Theerathon Bunmathan Flag of Brazil.svg Edigar Junio
Flag of South Korea.svg Park Iru-gyu
Shonan Bellmare Flag of Norway.svg Tarik Elyounoussi Flag of Brazil.svg Riuler
Kashiwa Reysol Flag of Kenya.svg Michael Olunga Flag of Brazil.svg Cristiano Flag of Brazil.svg Matheus Sávio Flag of Brazil.svg Richardson Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Seung-gyu Flag of Brazil.svg Júnior Santos
Shimizu S-Pulse Flag of Brazil.svg Carlinhos Flag of Brazil.svg Elsinho Flag of Brazil.svg Junior Dutra Flag of Brazil.svg Neto Volpi Flag of Brazil.svg Renato Augusto Flag of Brazil.svg Valdo Flag of Thailand.svg Teerasil Dangda Flag of South Korea.svg Hwang Seok-ho
Yokohama FC Flag of Brazil.svg Leandro Domingues Flag of Brazil.svg Maguinho Flag of the Netherlands.svg Calvin Jong-a-Pin
Nagoya Grampus Flag of Brazil.svg Gabriel Xavier Flag of Brazil.svg João Schmidt Flag of Brazil.svg Mateus Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mitchell Langerak Flag of South Korea.svg Oh Jae-suk
Gamba Osaka Flag of Brazil.svg Ademilson Flag of Brazil.svg Patric Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Young-gwon Flag of South Korea.svg Shin Won-ho Flag of South Korea.svg Lee Yun-oh Flag of the Philippines.svg Jefferson Tabinas
Cerezo Osaka Flag of Brazil.svg Bruno Mendes Flag of Croatia.svg Matej Jonjić Flag of Argentina.svg Leandro Desábato Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Jin-hyeon Flag of Thailand.svg Tawan Khotrsupho Flag of South Korea.svg Ahn Joon-soo Flag of Australia (converted).svg Pierce Waring Flag of Brazil.svg Lucas Mineiro
Vissel Kobe Flag of Brazil.svg Dankler Flag of Brazil.svg Douglas Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thomas Vermaelen Flag of Spain.svg Andrés Iniesta Flag of Spain.svg Sergi Samper
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Flag of Brazil.svg Douglas Vieira Flag of Brazil.svg Ezequiel Flag of Brazil.svg Leandro Pereira Flag of Brazil.svg Rhayner
Sagan Tosu Flag of Brazil.svg Eduardo Flag of Brazil.svg Tiago Alves Flag of Uruguay.svg Renzo Lopez Flag of South Korea.svg Cho Dong-geon Flag of South Korea.svg An Yong-woo Flag of South Korea.svg Park Jeong-su Flag of North Korea.svg Ryang Yong-gi Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Wang Jianan Flag of South Korea.svg Kim Min-ho Flag of South Korea.svg Park Iru-gyu
Oita Trinita Flag of South Korea.svg Mun Kyung-gun

League table

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, [37] 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).

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification or relegation
1 Kawasaki Frontale (C)3426538831+5783Qualification for AFC Champions League group stage [lower-alpha 1]
2 Gamba Osaka 3420594642+465
3 Nagoya Grampus 3419694528+1763
4 Cerezo Osaka 34186104637+960Qualification for AFC Champions League play-off round [lower-alpha 1]
5 Kashima Antlers 34185115544+1159
6 FC Tokyo 34176114742+557
7 Kashiwa Reysol 34157126046+1452
8 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 34139124637+948
9 Yokohama F. Marinos 34145156959+1047
10 Urawa Red Diamonds 341371443561346
11 Oita Trinita 341110133645943
12 Consadole Sapporo 341091547581139
13 Sagan Tosu 34715123743636
14 Vissel Kobe 3499165059936
15 Yokohama FC 34961938602233
16 Shimizu S-Pulse 34772048702228
17 Vegalta Sendai 346101836612528
18 Shonan Bellmare 34691929481927
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. 1 2 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 table

    Home \ Away ANT BEL CER CON FMA FRO GAM GRA REY RED SAG SFR SSP TOK TRI VEG VIS YFC
    Kashima Antlers 1–01–10–24–21–11–10–21–44–02–01–02–02–20–22–12–23–2
    Shonan Bellmare 1–00–10–01–00–11–20–13–22–30–01–10–30–11–20–11–11–0
    Cerezo Osaka 1–21–02–04–11–3 1–1 0–20–03–01–20–12–00–01–02–10–01–0
    Consadole Sapporo 1–02–11–33–11–60–10–00–13–41–10–25–11–11–13–32–33–0
    Yokohama F. Marinos 2–33–21–24–11–31–22–11–16–21–13–13–01–34–03–12–34–0
    Kawasaki Frontale 2–13–15–20–23–15–03–03–13–10–05–15–02–12–01–03–23–2
    Gamba Osaka 2–00–1 1–2 2–11–10–12–12–11–31–11–00–21–32–10–41–02–1
    Nagoya Grampus 1–33–11–03–02–11–02–20–16–21–01–03–11–00–01–02–10–0
    Kashiwa Reysol 2–33–21–34–21–32–33–00–11–11–21–10–00–11–15–14–31–3
    Urawa Red Diamonds 1–00–03–10–20–00–31–20–10–42–21–01–10–12–16–01–20–2
    Sagan Tosu 0–22–21–10–21–31–11–20–02–10–10–01–13–02–20–10–13–0
    Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3–01–01–22–23–10–21–22–00–11–13–04–13–31–21–12–11–1
    Shimizu S-Pulse 1–21–13–13–13–42–21–21–21–21–21–12–31–34–22–33–12–3
    FC Tokyo 1–23–02–01–00–40–40–11–01–32–02–31–03–12–31–01–02–1
    Oita Trinita 1–42–20–11–11–01–00–10–30–00–02–00–22–10–10–21–11–0
    Vegalta Sendai 1–30–02–32–20–12–31–41–10–21–20–30–00–02–20–32–30–0
    Vissel Kobe 1–30–20–14–03–32–20–21–02–30–14–30–33–12–21–11–21–1
    Yokohama FC 1–04–21–21–23–11–50–23–20–30–21–10–21–31–02–31–12–1
    Source: 2020 J1 League
    Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

    Season statistics

    Top scorers

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

    Hat-tricks

    PlayerClubAgainstResultDate
    Flag of Kenya.svg Michael Olunga Kashiwa Reysol Vegalta Sendai 5–1 (H) 26 July 2020
    Flag of Brazil.svg Everaldo Kashima Antlers Oita Trinita 4–1 (A) 1 August 2020
    Flag of Japan.svg Naoki Maeda 4 Nagoya Grampus Urawa Red Diamonds 6–2 (H) 8 August 2020
    Flag of Japan.svg Shun Nagasawa Vegalta Sendai Gamba Osaka 4–0 (A) 14 November 2020
    Flag of Brazil.svg Júnior Santos Yokohama F. Marinos Urawa Red Diamonds 6–2 (H) 14 November 2020
    Flag of Japan.svg Akihiro Ienaga Kawasaki Frontale Gamba Osaka 5–0 (H) 25 November 2020

    Attendances

    PosTeamTotalHighLowAverageChange
    1 Kawasaki Frontale 77,58721,11706,466−72.2%
    2 Yokohama F. Marinos 90,19634,52106,443−76.1%
    3 Nagoya Grampus 67,99711,85406,182−77.6%
    4 Cerezo Osaka 72,31015,53506,026−72.0%
    5 Vissel Kobe 69,24325,05905,476−74.5%
    6 Urawa Red Diamonds 66,4639,83105,113−85.0%
    7 Gamba Osaka 47,0429,31304,863−82.4%
    8 Shimizu S-Pulse 55,69817,54904,642−69.1%
    9 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 50,66918,71304,606−66.8%
    10 Oita Trinita 54,1968,57004,516−70.6%
    11 FC Tokyo 53,8878,16604,491−85.8%
    12 Shonan Bellmare 48,73413,07104,430−63.4%
    13 Kashima Antlers 33,7606,98203,943−80.8%
    14 Sagan Tosu 40,7808,57403,722−75.3%
    15 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 47,1115,3592,0393,624−80.7%
    16 Vegalta Sendai 36,11313,96803,611−75.9%
    17 Kashiwa Reysol 36,14412,46803,012−68.2%
    18 Yokohama FC 32,1845,16302,926−58.6%
    League total1,003,53934,52104,711−77.3%

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

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