Sunday 28 April 2013

Incredible Ardija thump Reysol to go top



The ever-astonishing Omiya Ardija moved on top of the J1 table and extended their record run of unbeaten matches to 19 with a 4-0 romp away to 2011 champions Kashiwa Reysol on Friday evening.

Fresh from a 1-1 draw with Guizhou Renhe of China that sealed their place in the last 16 of the AFC Champions League, the hosts started promisingly but found themselves frustrated by a solid Omiya defence which has only conceded five league goals all year.

The visitors built on this platform to open the scoring on 18 minutes. Cho Young-Cheol played a low cross for Milivoje Novaković to net first time with the side of his boot.

On his return from suspension, Shohei Takahashi scored from close range at the very end of the half to double the lead and, from that point, Ardija never looked back.

Nine minutes into the second period, Novaković played a beautiful pass through the finest of paths between the Kashiwa midfield and defence for Zlatan Ljubijankič, who was tripped by Hirofumi Watanabe to give Novaković a chance from the penalty spot.

The Slovenian converted with style, and the rout was complete soon afterwards when the ball broke for Cho to slot coolly past Takanori Sugeno.

Omiya’s place at the summit might only have lasted 24 hours, but Yokohama F Marinos conceded top spot with a 95th-minute equaliser for Ventforet Kofu at the Nissan Stadium.

After their surprise reverse at Albirex Niigata last week, Marinos looked back on form when Shunsuke Nakamura fired a 35-yard free kick through the narrow space between wall and far post to open the scoring on four minutes.

The hosts created a number of chances thereafter to extend their lead, but at just 1-0, Ventforet were always in contention and gradually took control as the game entered its closing stages.

A long throw from Koki Mizuno fell for Yukio Tsuichiya, whose shot was pushed onto the bar by Tetsuya Enomoto only to rebound back in off the head of Naoaki Aoyama. It was the Kofu defender’s first goal since joining from Marinos ahead of this season.

Urawa Reds were another to pay for their profligacy in front of goal as they slipped four points off the pace in third with a 1-0 home defeat to improving Shimizu S-Pulse.

Despite being on the back foot for most of the game, S-Pulse seized their opportunity on 64 minutes when Kota Sugiyama dispossessed Yuki Abe and Yosuke Kawai played a long ball forwards for Bare. The Brazilian held off the challenge of Ryota Moriwaki and slotted calmly past Nobuhiro Kato in the Urawa goal.

There was more misery for the home side with another Shimizu counterattack late on, as Abe was shown a straight red for a tug on Bare.

A brilliant, mukaiten goal from almost 40 yards by Gaku Shibasaki sent Kashima Antlers on their way to a 3-2 win in Niigata that takes them fourth, with Sanfrecce Hiroshima slipping to fifth despite recovering from their ACL elimination in Uzbekistan last Tuesday with a respectable 1-1 draw at Nagoya Grampus.

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Jubilo Iwata finally recorded their first league win of the season in spectacular fashion, trouncing Shonan Bellmare 4-0.

Hiroki Yamada smashed Iwata ahead in the opening minute to apparently spark a sudden resurgence of confidence to the side that had begun proceedings at the foot of the table with just two points from seven games.

Takuya Matsuura beat three players and finished with the outside of his foot to double the advantage, before combining with Ryoichi Maeda in a stylish one-touch move for Shuto Yamamoto to make it three. Ryohei Yamazaki’s spinning volley completed the scoring.

Oita Trinita are now at the foot of the table and remain winless after an entertaining but scoreless draw away to Cerezo Osaka.

The men in pink generally dominated proceedings with Yoichiro Kakitani particularly outstanding, but lacked a clinical touch up front and could have paid the ultimate price when Yasuhito Morishima and Takuya Marutani both hit the woodwork for Oita within the space of five second half seconds.

Elsewhere, FC Tokyo beat Kawasaki Frontale 2-0 in the Saturday evening game, while on Sunday, Vegalta Sendai played out a 1-1 draw with Sagan Tosu.


J2 HIGHLIGHTS
Fagiano Okayama pulled off one of the most incredible comebacks in J. League history to steal a point away to leaders Vissel Kobe. The hosts raced out of the traps with a first half brace from Yuzo Tashiro either side of Kyohei Sugiura’s penalty, and held onto their 3-0 advantage until the 84th minute. But late substitute Shingo Kukida netted a quickfire double to suddenly throw the momentum Okayama’s way, and an avalanche of pressure ended with a Tomoyuki Arata leveller in the final minute of added time.


J1 results (matchday 8)
Kashiwa Reysol 0-4 Omiya Ardija
Albirex Niigata 2-3 Kashima Antlers
Nagoya Grampus 1-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Cerezo Osaka 0-0 Oita Trinita
Yokohama F Marinos 1-1 Ventforet Kofu
Jubilo Iwata 4-0 Shonan Bellmare
Urawa Reds 0-1 Shimizu S-Pulse
FC Tokyo 2-0 Kawasaki Frontale
Vegalta Sendai 1-1 Sagan Tosu


J2 results (matchday 11)
Consadole Sapporo 1-3 Roasso Kumamoto
Mito HollyHock 2-2 Yokohama FC
Thespakusatsu Gunma 4-1 Tokushima Vortis
FC Gifu 1-1 Montedio Yamagata
Kyoto Sanga 3-3 JEF United Chiba
Kataller Toyama 1-1 Tokyo Verdy
Gamba Osaka 1-1 Gainare Tottori
Vissel Kobe 3-3 Fagiano Okayama
Avispa Fukuoka 0-1 Matsumoto Yamaga
Giravanz Kitakyushu 0-2 Tochigi SC
Ehime FC vs. V-Varen Nagasaki (Monday, 2pm)

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