Monday 23 April 2012

‘Urawa killer’ strikes again to give Omiya more derby honours



Omiya Ardija inflicted a first league defeat since opening day upon neighbours Urawa Reds as Cho Young-Cheol registered a goal and an assist en route to their 2-0 victory in Saturday’s Saitama derby.

A pre-season arrival from Albirex Niigata, the South Korean international cut inside Japan defender Yuki Abe from the left flank to fire a low right-footed shot across Reds goalkeeper Nobuhiro Kato and in off the far post after just eight minutes.

Cho then sent in a perfect deep cross for Rafael to head the home side at the NACK5 Stadium into a two-goal advantage twenty minutes later. It was the Brazilian’s seventh strike in just six matches against Omiya’s local rivals.

Urawa manager Mihailo Petrović sent on Genki Haraguchi for the visitors to seize the attacking initiative in the second half, but an inspired performance from Takashi Kitano in the Ardija goal ensured that there was no way back for the visitors, who slip to sixth in the table.

The result allowed Vegalta Sendai to pull out a five-point lead at the top with a 4-0 hammering of FC Tokyo later the same evening. Shingo Akamine opened the scoring right at the end of the first period, before Kunimitsu Sekiguchi headed home his third goal in as many games to double the lead on 58 minutes.

Yoshiaki Ota and Jiro Kamata rounded off the scoring late on to take Sendai’s record to six wins and one draw from their opening seven league games.

2010 champions Nagoya Grampus move up to second despite the concession of a 94th-minute equaliser in their 1-1 draw away to fourth-placed Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Ryota Moriwaki hit an unstoppable 25-yard shot in off the crossbar to rescue a point after Hayuma Tanaka’s acute header had seemingly put Nagoya on course for all three.

Jubilo Iwata are third thanks to a stunning Hiroki Yamada effort to give them a 1-0 victory at home to winless Yokohama F Marinos. The 23-year-old, who has been called up to the Japan squad for a training camp this week, dribbled past two opponents before smashing the ball through a crowd of defenders and into the roof of the net from the left-hand corner of the box.

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Consadole Sapporo looked on course for their first win of the season as they led Kawasaki Frontale 2-0 at half time, only for Kengo Nakamura to come off the bench and inspire a comeback akin to that which his side had suffered at Gamba Osaka last week.

The 31-year-old midfielder pulled one back with his first touch of the ball to reverse the momentum of the match, and Kawasaki were level from the spot through Renato ten minutes later to set up a grandstand finish. Another substitute, Koji Yamase, fired home on 88 minutes to complete the recovery and break home fans’ hearts.

Kashima Antlers also fought back from two down to move out of the relegation zone with a 3-2 win over Cerezo Osaka. Kim Bo-Kyung’s first half brace counted for nought as strikes from Dutra, Shinzo Koroki, and Yasushi Endo turned around a match that threatened to boil over for much of the second period.

Newly-promoted Sagan Tosu moved up to an incredible fifth position thanks to a 1-0 victory against third-from-bottom Albirex Niigata. The game was also notable for the league debut of Koki Kiyotake, younger brother of Cerezo and Japan star Hiroshi.

Elsewhere, Gamba followed up their first domestic win of the season with a comfortable second, beating Shimizu S-Pulse 3-1 at Banpaku on Sunday evening, while Vissel Kobe broke their run of six straight losses in all competitions when overcoming Kashiwa Reysol by the same scoreline. The champions have begun their defence with just seven points from as many matches and sit a dozen places and points adrift of the summit.


TALKING POINTS
- Shonan Bellmare kept up their superb start to the J2 season, winning 2-1 at Tokyo Verdy to move six points clear of Montedio Yamagata at the top.
- Shinji Kagawa scored his 13th Bundesliga goal of the campaign to help seal a second straight German title for Borussia Dortmund as they beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 on Saturday.


J1 results (matchday 7)
Consadole Sapporo 2-3 Kawasaki Frontale
Jubilo Iwata 1-0 Yokohama F Marinos
Vissel Kobe 3-1 Kashiwa Reysol
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-1 Nagoya Grampus
Kashima Antlers 3-2 Cerezo Osaka
Sagan Tosu 1-0 Albirex Niigata
Omiya Ardija 2-0 Urawa Reds
Vegalta Sendai 4-0 FC Tokyo
Gamba Osaka 3-1 Shimizu S-Pulse


J2 results (matchday 9)
Mito HollyHock 1-0 Thespa Kusatsu
Tochigi SC 1-1 FC Gifu
Ventforet Kofu 1-1 Machida Zelvia
Ehime FC 0-0 Roasso Kumamoto
Giravanz Kitakyushu 0-1 Montedio Yamagata
Yokohama FC 2-1 Kyoto Sanga
Tokyo Verdy 1-2 Shonan Bellmare
Matsumoto Yamaga 1-0 JEF United Chiba
Kataller Toyama 2-3 Oita Trinita
Fagiano Okayama 2-0 Gainare Tottori
Tokushima Vortis 0-4 Avispa Fukuoka


AFC Champions League group stage results (East Asia, matchday 4)
Group E
Adelaide United (AUS) 1-0 Pohang Steelers (KOR)
Bunyodkor (UZB) 3-2 Gamba Osaka (JPN)

Group F
Brisbane Roar (AUS) 1-2 Ulsan Hyundai (KOR)
FC Tokyo (JPN) 3-0 Beijing Guoan (CHN)

Group G
Nagoya Grampus (JPN) 0-0 Tianjin Teda (CHN)
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (KOR) 5-0 Central Coast Mariners (AUS)

Group H
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR) 3-2 Buriram United (THA)
Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) 3-1 Kashiwa Reysol (JPN)


Yamazaki Nabisco Cup group stage results (matchday 2)
Group A
Kawasaki Frontale 3-1 Vegalta Sendai
Jubilo Iwata 1-0 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Urawa Reds 1-4 Cerezo Osaka

Group B
Consadole Sapporo 1-2 Kashima Antlers
Albirex Niigata 1-0 Vissel Kobe
Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Yokohama F Marinos

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