SHIZUOKA – Alex Brosque grabbed a late winner as Shimizu S-Pulse put an end to Vegalta Sendai’s unbeaten streak with a 1-0 defeat of the quake-stricken club in the J. League on Sunday night.
Chances were at a premium in a tightly contested affair at Outsourcing Stadium, but Brosque snatched victory nine minutes from time, sweeping home Kosuke Ota’s pass to break the hearts of the only team not to have lost any of its previous 12 games this season.
“I think the team worked very hard and got the reward we deserved tonight,” said Brosque, who was also on target in the 3-2 midweek defeat at home to Kawasaki Frontale.
“I am very happy because that is why I am here. I am here to try and help the team. Today was all about the team. The defense was excellent, the goalkeeper and up front we punished them.”
“I think it just shows how far we have come as a team. Sendai is a very good team and all credit to them because I think they played well,” added the Australian striker.
The result left Sendai tied with Kawasaki Frontale and Yokohama F. Marinos on 24 points, four adrift of surprise leader Kashiwa Reysol, who romped to a 4-1 win away to Ventforet Kofu on Saturday. S-Pulse improved to 19 points.
In Sunday’s other matches, Yokohama ran out 2-0 winners at Montedio Yamagata thanks to goals from Yuzo Kurihara and Kazuma Watanabe, and Kazumichi Takagi sealed Gamba Osaka’s 5-3 win at home to Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Keigo Higashi’s late strike earned Omiya Ardija a 1-1 draw at home to Vissel Kobe.