FC Ryukyu 2021

The new 2021 season has already begun and FC Ryukyu are competing once more in J2, the second tier of the J.League. It was time for another visit to see them. Yesterday was a warm and sunny day in Okinawa and the pre-match entertainment included a performance by the Ryukyukoku Matsuri Taiko group. Away supporters from Nagasaki were also allowed into the stadium for the first time this season.

This home game was a difficult test as they faced V-Varen Nagasaki, a club with J1 experience and ambitions to return to the top flight. I attended fearing it might put a jinx on that winning run. However, all fears were dismissed as Ryukyu put on an excellent display of passing, movement, and attacking football which was quite outstanding. By the 68th minute Ryukyu had a 3-0 lead with two goals from Ikeda and one from defender Numata, and despite conceding a late goal they were comfortable winners.

On one of the smallest budgets, Manager Higuchi has quietly built a team able to compete at this level and yesterday’s performance was probably the best I’ve seen from them in Okinawa. FC Ryukyu now find themselves in the unexpected position of second in the J2 league table with maximum points after four matches.

The next home match is on Saturday 3rd April at 17:00 when the visitors will be Omiya Ardija.


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