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Shimizu thrash Sendai to maintain J. League top spot

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Shimizu S-Pulse preserved their unbeaten start to the season in the J. League with a 5-1 demolition of promoted Vegalta Sendai on Sunday.

Norwegian striker Frode Johnsen put S-Pulse on the way when he broke the deadlock with a long-range effort on 26 minutes before Takuya Honda doubled the lead on the stroke of halftime at Outsourcing Stadium.

Two goals in the space of three minutes from Jungo Fujimoto and Yasuhiro Hiraoka put S-Pulse out of sight before former Urawa Reds striker Yuichiro Nagai added a fifth on 79 minutes. Takayuki Nakahara grabbed a consolation a minute from time for the visitors.

The result put S-Pulse back on top of the table with 14 points from six games, one ahead of Urawa Reds and Kawasaki Frontale. Urawa won 2-0 at Albirex Niigata thanks to a brace from Yuki Abe while Frontale were 3-0 winners at Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Saturday.

In Sunday’s other game, on-loan striker Yuzo Yashiro scored his third goal of the season and Tomotaka Kitamura also found the target as Montedio Yamagata won 2-0 at Vissel Kobe.