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Australian football fans have had enough controversy for one week, after their grand final was decided on a questionable penalty kick call. So I won’t bore you this week with a lot of gripes about officiating.
Two teams that have featured prominently in Australian football fans’ budding impressions of the J.League – Gamba Osaka and Kashima Antlers – entered the week in a very unfamiliar position: the very bottom of the league table. Kashima sat dead last on Saturday morning.
Though the season is just getting under way, and some of the early leaders may fall off the pace in time, it was nevertheless intriguing to watch 2012′s last two unbeaten J-League teams come face-to-face on Saturday.
Last week, Gamba Osaka made headlines with their decision to fire coach Jose Serrao just three weeks into a new season.
Most of the focus in the mainstream press this week was on Vegalta Sendai, which remains the only team with a perfect record. They defeated Cerezo Osaka 2-1, and looked convincing doing it.
The topsy-turvy J1 season may be only three weeks old, but already it is clear that the pecking order has changed. Traditional powers are still seeking their first wins and teams with a history of mid-table anonymity are sitting on top of the heap.