Nagoya claim first J-League title
Nagoya Grampus claimed the J-League title for the first time when they beat Shonan Bellmare 1-0 on today, as nearest rivals Kashima Antlers ended their match with a scoreless draw.
Nagoya's sole goal came from Japanese international striker Keiji Tamada, who headed home on a cross from Keita Sugimoto from the right in the 66th minute.
"We are the champions for the first time. It's a very emotional and very special moment for me. It's really a nice feeling to be the champions," said Nagoya's Serbian coach Dragan Stojkovic.
"Every game was very hard, but to make this kind of result for the first time in the history of the club, it's really something special -- so I'm very happy and I'm proud for the people of Nagoya and everybody.
"This is completely different when I was a player and when I manage the team. This time I have a lot of responsibility and I'm very satisfied with my work and a nice fight from all the players.
"Three games before the end of the J-League, we are already the champions. It's a great result," he added.
Nagoya's previous top result was the runner-up position in 1996, when Stojkovic was the team's top scorer with 11 goals.
Nagoya now boast 22 wins, three draws and seven defeats and an unbeatable 66 points, ten points above defending champions Kashima and Gamba Osaka.
Kashima were held to a 0-0 draw by Vissel Kobe, while Osaka defeated Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0 with goals from Japan midfielder Yasuhito Endo and Brazil striker Lucas Severino.