|Toshihiro Aoyama is Goal’s J-League Round 6 MVP for his impressive performance on the road at Nagoya Grampus.
The recent national team call-up was a dominating figure in Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s 5-2 road win, constantly setting his team’s rhythm and using his superb version to maintain their pace over the course of the match. The 28-year-old captain could very well be a key addition to Japan’s national team in Brazil.
|Aoyama joins ten more players in our Best XI’s 3-4-2-1 formation. In goal, Albirex Niigata’s Tatsuya Morita earns the nod for his fantastic effort in holding Marinos to a clean sheet during Sunday’s encounter.
The back line features a trio of defenders who are looking to impress Alberto Zaccheroni at this week’s national team training camp. Sanfrecce’s Tsukasa Shiotani netted his fourth goal of the season against Grampus, while Kashiwa Reysol center-back Daisuke Suzuki and Antlers enforcer Gen Shoji both put in dominant performances in their teams’ respective wins.
At central midfield, MVP Aoyama is joined by Antlers’ Gaku Shibasaki, who helped to keep Gamba’s usually potent attack from pressuring the goal.
On the right wing is FC Tokyo scorer Hiroki Kawano; though this is out of his natural position, his goal against Sagan Tosu was more than representative of his comeback this season under Massimo Ficcadenti. His opposite on the left is Kaoru Takayama, who has made a significant impact in his first season at Kashiwa Reysol.
The second line is held by a pair of Brazilians in Kashima Antlers’ Davi and Vissel Kobe’s Pedro Junior, both of whom have matured over their J-League careers and are coming into bloom with their current clubs.
On top is double-scorer Hisato Sato, who is within one goal of tying Kazu Miura’s all-time scoring record with 138 career J1 goals.
BEST XI FOR ROUND 6 (3-4-2-1)
Shiotani (Sanfrecce), D. Suzuki (Reysol), Shoji (Antlers)
Kawano (Tokyo), Aoyama (Sanfrecce), Shibasaki (Antlers), Takayama (Reysol)
Davi (Antlers), Pedro Junior (Vissel)