Kota Yoshihara's rehabilitation from his back injury took a massive step forwards on Sunday when he played in the second half of Omiya Ardija's 2-2 reserve team run-out against Kashiwa Reysol. It was also good news for Takuro Nishimura, recovering from an ankle sprain with a 45 minutes of his own. Omiya took the lead halfway through the first half when Yoshiyuki Kobayashi exchanged passes with Naoto Sakurai and scored. Reysol equalised shortly afterwards but Ardija reclaimed their lead almost immediately when Hiroshi Morita headed home Kazuyoshi Mikami's cross.
Yoshihara looked lively after half-time when he replaced Sakurai, getting in one shot on target but unfortunately not finding the net - something that Kashiwa managed to do ten minutes after the re-start to register the last score of the afternoon. Yoshihara later indicated that he was hopeful of making his full debut for Omiya in the tricky away fixture against his old club Gamba Osaka on Wednesday night, surely a dream scenario for the player and Squirrels fans alike.