Following years of underachievement in J. League's second tier, Tokyo Verdy head into this weekend's playoff final for a place in Japan's top flight hoping to open a new chapter in the club's history at National Stadium.
Once-dominant Verdy, who captured the inaugural 1993 J. League championship at the capital's iconic venue, go into Saturday's final against Shimizu S-Pulse knowing a draw is enough to secure a return to J1 for the first time since 2008.
Having finished third in the J2 standings, Hiroshi Jofuku's side only needed to avoid defeat in Sunday's semifinal against sixth-placed JEF United Chiba but ran out comfortable 2-1 winners, courtesy of first-half goals from Hikaru Nakahara and Koki Morita.