OITA – Omiya Ardija won promotion back to the J. League first division by clinching the second-division title in a 3-2 comeback win at Oita Trinita on Saturday.
Omiya, which was relegated last season following 10 years in J1, went down to two early second-half goals against struggling Oita. But Serb striker Dragan Mrda drew Ardija level with a brace, and former Mallorca midfielder Akihiro Ienaga sealed a dramatic turnaround with a penalty three minutes from time.
Omiya clinched the championship on 83 points with one round of fixtures to play. Jubilo Iwata and Avispa Fukuoka on 79 points are vying for the final automatic promotion spot. Jubilo, who visit Oita in the final game, hold a five-goal advantage in goal difference over Avispa, who are away at FC Gifu.
The top two J2 teams win automatic promotion, while the third- to sixth-placed sides enter a promotion playoff for the final spot. Cerezo Osaka (64 points) and Ehime FC (62) are guaranteed playoff spots, while V-Varen Nagasaki (60), Tokyo Verdy (58) and JEF United Chiba (57) will battle for the final playoff berth.
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