Despite leading the league for 20 straight rounds from Round 8 — and retaking the top spot for one more week after Round 31 — FC Tokyo is almost certain to settle for second place when the final whistle is blown on Saturday at Nissan Stadium.

Afterward, they'll get to watch the team on the other side of the pitch — Yokohama F. Marinos — raise the first-division trophy for the first time in 15 years.

"In the end we can't win the league unless we persist and win by four goals in the last game," Tokyo manager Kenta Hasegawa said after the team's 1-1 draw with Urawa Reds last Saturday.