Mitch Langerak breaks J.League clean sheet record on dramatic final day

Socceroos goalkeeper Mitch Langerak has officially broken the record for the most clean sheets in a J.League season as his Nagoya Grampus side secured AFC Champions League qualification with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima. 

Langerak kept his 17th clean sheet in 34 games as a 86th-minute wonder strike from Naoki Maeda secured a third-placed finish for Nagoya. 

In typical last-day drama, the strike arrived just moments after news filtered through of a Cerezo Osaka goal that would have denied Langerak's side a chance to match it with Asia's best for the first time since 2011. 

The J league season ended on a high for the Australian shot-stopper as Nagoya suffered defeat only once in their final ten games, concluding the campaign with a run of over 400 minutes without conceding a goal. 

Their final tally of 28 goals conceded in 34 games was also the best defensive record in the competition.  

Saturday's match saw Langerak pull out some trademark saves as Sanfrecce created a handful of goalscoring opportunities and even struck the crossbar during the first half. 

But as they have time and time again this season, Nagoya remained resolute to register their seventh 1-0 win in 2020, and a spot in the AFCCL qualifying round. 

Heading into the match it was already confirmed that Langerak would receive the Golden Glove award for this season. 

The 32-year-old former Melbourne Victory, Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart custodian has well and truly found a home in Japan.

Since signing in 2018, he has amassed 100 J.League appearances and will now enjoy a place in the competition's record books, overriding the previous record of 16 clean sheets in a season set by Shusaku Nishikawa with Urawa Red Diamonds in 2014. 

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