Omiya Ardija twice took on rivals Tokyo Verdy 1969 as part of their pre-season training programme on Sunday and with Shin Kanazawa, Daigo Kobayashi and Yoshiyuki Kobayashi having moved between the two clubs during the winter, there had been talk of them being something approaching grudge matches. The morning game ended 5-0 to the Squirrels, who took the lead on 17 minutes when a header from a left-wing cross was spilled by the goalkeeper and then knocked in by an advancing forward. Ten minutes later, a long-range shot made it 2-0 and it stayed that way until thirteen minutes from time, when a quick break down the left resulted in a third Ardija goal.
New Squirrel Naoya Saeki challenges Verdy's Koji Matsuura
A quick free kick near the centre circle caught the Verdy defence napping as the Omiya counter-attacking game came into play to grab goal number four on 79 minutes and the scoring was wrapped up two minutes from time. Despite several Verdy substitutions, the Ardija midfield maintained a tight grip on the match and were constantly probing the opposition defence. The second match was a much tighter 1-1 draw, the Squirrels goal coming late on via a header from a free-kick, tying up a first half Verdy penalty.