Sunday 14 April 2013

Kanazawa’s 50-yard stunner helps unbeaten Ardija equal J1 record

In an unlikely top-of-the-table battle on Saturday evening, a stunning goal by Shin Kanazawa sent Omiya Ardija on their way to a 2-1 victory away to Cerezo Osaka which extends their unbeaten run to a joint J1 record of 17 league matches.

With just 28 seconds on the clock, the Squirrels midfielder picked up a mishit clearance from Takahiro Ogihara and, spotting Kim Jin-Hyeon off his line, sent the ball in a perfect trajectory over the goalkeeper’s head from just inside the Cerezo half.

Ogihara made up for his early error just before the interval with a lovely chipped ball over the Omiya defensive line, allowing Yoichiro Kakitani to run through and net his fourth of the season with a typically cool finish.

The match then looked to have swung decisively in the hosts’ favour midway through the second period when Ardija defender Shohei Takahashi was harshly booked for a tug on Edno, then talked himself into an early bath with his angry protestations to referee Koichiro Fukushima.

But Zdenko Verdenik’s men held on and got their reward with five minutes remaining. Daisuke Watabe headed down a long clearance into the path of Slovenian striker Zlatan Ljubijankič, who knocked the ball over the head of Teruyuki Moniwa with his right foot before volleying it home from a tight angle with his left.

Omiya’s unbeaten sequence equals the record set by Kashima Antlers in 2009.

There was a new mark set in Kanagawa as Yokohama F Marinos beat neighbours Kawasaki Frontale 2-1 to become the first team to win their opening six league matches since the abolition of the two-stage season in 2005.

Seitaro Tomisawa opened the scoring for Marinos shortly before half time with a near-post header from Shunsuke Nakamura’s corner, but the latter was culpable for the Kawasaki equaliser and fortunate not to be sent off in the process.

Nakamura strayed from his post at a Renato corner, allowing Yusuke Tanaka the room to head Frontale level despite the desperate efforts of the former Celtic midfielder to punch the ball clear.

Yokohama had every reason to be thankful when their late winner came from another Nakamura corner, with substitute Jin Hanato firing through a crowd of players to keep the leaders two points clear at the top.

Kashima are up to fifth after an entertaining 3-2 victory away to Oita Trinita, who remain rooted to the bottom on just two points.

The hosts started well and led through Daiki Takamatsu’s fine effort from a tight angle, but Gaku Shibasaki’s quick shot from 25 yards put Antlers level before Takuya Nozawa converted a trademark free kick to register his first goal since returning from a year away at Vissel Kobe.

Yasuhito Morishima levelled things up again for Oita, only for Yuya Osako to come off the bench and win it for the visitors in the dying moments.


Shimizu S-Pulse look to have put their defensively disastrous start to the season behind them after a 1-0 derby success at home to winless Jubilo Iwata made it three clean sheets in a row.

Jubilo started well and could have led when Ryoichi Maeda hit the crossbar, but their profligacy was to cost them when Daisuke Muramatsu headed the winner from Calvin Jong-a-Pin’s cross with ten minutes left on the clock.

Elsewhere, two excellent goals from Kensuke Fukuda and Hugo inside the opening 11 minutes kicked off a wonderful all-round performance for Ventforet Kofu as they beat Kashiwa Reysol 3-1.

Makoto Kakuda scored on his first appearance of the season to help Vegalta Sendai to a 2-1 victory over FC Tokyo, while Keiji Tamada marked his 300th J. League game by netting a penalty as Nagoya Grampus beat Albirex Niigata 2-0.

In Sunday’s matches, Urawa Reds enjoyed a straightforward 2-0 win against Shonan Bellmare, while a second-half brace from Hisato Sato allowed Sanfrecce Hiroshima to emerge as victors by the same scoreline at home to Sagan Tosu. It was the reigning champions’ first home win of 2013.

J. League debutants V-Varen Nagasaki moved up to fourth in the table after a 1-0 home win over Roasso Kumamoto. The champions of the third-tier Japan Football League have quickly overcome their initial struggles to record 13 points from their last five games, and only trail unbeaten Gamba Osaka and Fagiano Okayama on goal difference. Vissel Kobe are five points clear at the top despite their goalless draw at Kataller Toyama.

J1 results (matchday 6)
Ventforet Kofu 3-1 Kashiwa Reysol
Vegalta Sendai 2-1 FC Tokyo
Yokohama F Marinos 2-1 Kawasaki Frontale
Nagoya Grampus 2-0 Albirex Niigata
Oita Trinita 2-3 Kashima Antlers
Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Jubilo Iwata
Cerezo Osaka 1-2 Omiya Ardija
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 Sagan Tosu
Urawa Reds 2-0 Shonan Bellmare

J2 results (matchday 8)
Consadole Sapporo 2-1 Tokushima Vortis
Montedio Yamagata 0-1 Gamba Osaka
Tochigi SC 0-1 Mito HollyHock
Matsumoto Yamaga 1-2 FC Gifu
V-Varen Nagasaki 1-0 Roasso Kumamoto
JEF United Chiba 0-0 Fagiano Okayama
Tokyo Verdy 3-0 Gainare Tottori
Kataller Toyama 0-0 Vissel Kobe
Kyoto Sanga 0-1 Yokohama FC
Avispa Fukuoka 2-1 Giravanz Kitakyushu
Ehime FC L-L Thespakusatsu Gunma

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