While the rest of the world has at least one eye on the European Championships, the domestic season resumed in Japan on June 25 when Kashima Antlers and Gamba Osaka hosted rescheduled Round 11 fixtures.
In a season punctuated by World Cup qualifiers and the Beijing Olympics, Kashima and Gamba were forced to reschedule their Round 11 fixtures against Oita Trinita and Kyoto Sanga FC respectively, as the original match date clashed Qq Poker with AFC Champions League fixtures.
Neither side was disadvantaged by the rescheduling, with both coming out 1-0 winners.
Kashima were slightly fortunate to do so, winning courtesy of a solitary strike from substitute Danilo in front of a crowd of just 8,286 at Kashima Stadium. His stooping header cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar, after Oita had twice hit the woodwork through Roberto and Mu Kanazaki.
In Osaka hosts Gamba triumphed in front of a healthy midweek crowd of 15,840 fans in a Kansai derby, with star midfielder Yasuhito Endo bursting on to an intelligent knock-down from striker Lucas Severino before stroking a pinpoint left-foot finish beyond Kyoto keeper Yuichi Mizutani.
There is a full round of …