Yasuhiro Higuchi finally rang the changes and dropped under-performing forward Kota Yoshihara for Sunday's J1 match at Nagoya Grampus, fielding Daigo Kobayashi up front with a Denis Marques returning from a bout of ill-health. But despite the modification, Omiya Ardija were well and truly hammered by an impressive Nagoya team that to all intents and purposes looked to be in a division higher than the Squirrels, such was the difference in quality on view.
Although Higuchi's side were able to create some opportunities, they as usual squandered them. The closest Ardija came to finding the net was through a long-range strike from central midfielder Yosuke Kataoka in the first half and a Denis Marques shot that hit Whales net minder Seigo Narazaki in the second, while Grampus were clinical in front of goal. Keiji Yoshimura scored the first, curling in a shot from just outside the box just after the quarter-hour mark, and key midfielder Magnum made it 2-0 after Koji Ezumi fumbled a cross.
Trailing once again at half time, the Omiya coach replace Yosuke Kataoka and Daigo with Masato Saito and Klemen Lavric respectively - but just three minutes after the re-start, Norwegian striker Frode Johnsen struck home the killer third with Ardija's defence all at sea. Keita Sugimoto rounded off the scoring near the end to highlight the disparity between the teams.