KASHIMA, IBARAKI PREF. – The effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have reached into every corner of Japanese soccer, but Kashima Antlers defender Daiki Iwamasa is determined not to let them smother his team’s title challenge this season.
The seven-time J. League champions have long since returned to their damaged training facilities, but ongoing repairs to their stadium have forced a continuing life on the road. Tokyo’s National Stadium is providing refuge until Kashima Stadium reopens on June 4, but recent results have betrayed a team desperately yearning for home.