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SAITAMA — Oita Trinita won promotion to J. League Division One at Omiya Soccer Stadium on Saturday, securing a top-two finish with a 1-0 win over Omiya Ardija thanks to a first-half winner through Iwao Yamane.

News photoOita Trinita players celebrate
after securing promotion to the J. League first
division next season with a 1-0 victory over
Omiya Ardija on Saturday in Omiya.

With three more matches remaining in the season, Oita improved its points tally to 88 from a 26-10-5 win-draw-loss record. Promotion rival Cerezo Osaka has 80 points and Albirex Niigata has 78. Oita could capture the Division Two title as early as Saturday with a win over Kawasaki Frontale at home.

“I’m delighted to have done a good job together with our players,” Oita manager Shinji Kobayashi said. “We’ve worked hard to build a defensively solid team that doesn’t give away goals this season and this has paid off with good results.”

After Yamane knocked in a header off a Takayuki Yoshida rebound in the 27th minute from close range, the visitors never look back and held firm to the end.

Oita, which had narrowly failed to gain promotion the past three years, will be in the nation’s top flight for the first time ever since the club was established in 1994.

The remaining promotion spot will be battled over by Cerezo, Albirex and Frontale. The J2 season will finish on Nov. 24.

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