Mission accomplished. Omiya Ardija won their final J1 fixture of 2008, after being on the back foot for virtually all of the ninety minutes at relegation-threatened Jubilo Iwata. But a win is a win is a win and the Squirrels thereby guaranteed their own survival in the top flight for next season. Fielding the current full-strength line-up with the exception of the suspended Leandro, Ardija were committed enough - but often found themselves deep in their own half defending regular Jubilo attacks.
As in the July fixture between the two teams that Omiya were unlucky to lose, Gilsinho was the danger man and tormented the Squirrels' defence with his mazy dribbling and forward running. Ardija didn't have many chances to speak of in the first half, as the little and large pairing of Chikara Fujimoto and Klemen Lavric were well marshalled by the Iwata rearguard.
The second half then followed the same pattern as the first, although with one notable difference - Omiya scored with fifteen minutes remaining, although before that clincher Gilsinho really should have put Jubilo ahead. But fortune was with Yasuhiro Higuchi's team when the Brazilian ballooned over the bar after picking up a rebound just outside the six-yard area. A few minutes later, Lavric picked up the ball from substitute Kohei Tokita and found his cross across the box blocked by a defender.
The giant Slovenian nodded the subsequent rebound across Jubilo's goal area directly on to the head of the onrushing Daigo Kobayashi who finished powerfully past Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi. Against the run of play the score may have been, but the fans wearing orange behind the goal certainly weren't complaining. Omiya then held firm until the final whistle and apart from a few long-range efforts in the closing stages, the again impressive Koji Ezumi was relatively untroubled.