Sunday 25 September 2011

Catch-up: J1 matchday 26

The main story of matchday 26 was the third top-versus-second battle in just over a month, as Gamba Osaka held onto their position at the summit of J1 with a 1-1 draw away to Yokohama F Marinos.

Despite a period of early Gamba domination that saw Lee Keun-Ho hit the post and have a goal chalked off by the linesman’s flag, it was the hosts who opened the scoring in spectacular fashion on 20 minutes – Shingo Hyodo meeting the ball on the bounce to smash past Yosuke Fujigaya from just outside the area.

But Marinos were unable to hold onto their advantage in the second half, as an unmarked Rafinha headed home from Hiroki Fujiharu’s cross to level the scores just before the hour mark. Gamba almost won the game late on, but Afonso hit the woodwork and Lee saw his header brilliantly saved by Hiroki Iikura.

Kashiwa Reysol took advantage to move up to second – a point behind Gamba – with a 4-0 romp away to Vissel Kobe. Yokohama remained three points off the pace but down to third, with Nagoya Grampus a further point back in fourth after their 1-1 draw at Kashima Antlers.

J1 results (matchday 26)
Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Urawa Reds
Ventforet Kofu 2-1 Avispa Fukuoka
Vegalta Sendai 2-0 Albirex Niigata
Montedio Yamagata 0-1 Kawasaki Frontale
Vissel Kobe 0-4 Kashiwa Reysol
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-1 Jubilo Iwata
Yokohama F Marinos 1-1 Gamba Osaka
Kashima Antlers 1-1 Nagoya Grampus
Omiya Ardija 0-0 Cerezo Osaka

AFC Champions League quarter final first leg results
Cerezo Osaka (JPN) 4
-3 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR)
Suwon Samsung Bluewings (KOR) 1-1 Zob Ahan (IRN)
Sepahan (IRN) 1-0 Al-Sadd (QAT)
Al-Ittihad (KSA) 3-1 FC Seoul (KOR)

Yamazaki Nabisco Cup second round first leg results
Vegalta Sendai 0-0 Jubilo Iwata
Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 Albirex Niigata
Urawa Reds 2-0 Omiya Ardija
Yokohama F Marinos 4-0 Kawasaki Frontale

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