KASHIMA, IBARAKI PREF. – A team comprised of players mainly from clubs representing disaster-hit areas, Vegalta Sendai and Kashima Antlers, beat a J.League All-Star team 4-0 in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Benefit Match on Saturday.
Team As One, featuring former Italian striker Alessandro Del Piero as a special entrant, won the match before a crowd of about 24,000 at Kashima Stadium.
Before the game kicked off, the players lined up at the center of the pitch for a moment of silence for the victims of the disaster.
“We will play with all our might for the people who are fighting in East Japan,” said Kashima’s Mitsuo Ogasawara, who hails from Iwate Prefecture. Del Piero scored a goal in the second half.
“I am happy that No. 10 (Del Piero) from Juventus came,” said 13-year-old Ryosuke Suzuki, a first-year junior high school student from Naka, Ibaraki Prefecture.
The proceeds from the match will be used to help recovery efforts in areas affected by the 2011 disaster.
“The J.League has not forgotten the disaster. We will continue to hold these kinds of matches next year as well,” said J.League Chairman Kazumi Ohigashi.