IWATA, SHIZUOKA PREF. – Rodrigo Souto highlighted his J-League debut with a second-half brace as Jubilo Iwata destroyed Kashiwa Reysol 6-1 at home on Sunday evening.
Rodrigo Souto, a 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder plucked from Sao Paulo, opened his Japanese account in the 49th minute before scoring a second eight minutes later to give former Asian champions Jubilo a 4-1 advantage.
Man-of-the-match Rodrigo Souto was joined on a long list of scorers by Shuto Yamamoto, Yoshiaki Fujita, Hidetaka Kanazono and an own goal by Hiroki Sakai.
As if the lopsided loss weren’t enough, Nelsinho’s side saw defender Park Hong Hyuk draw a straight red in the 89th minute.
“I couldn’t be happier because I scored two goals in my first game and we hammered Kashiwa who were on top of the table,” said Rodrigo Souto, who helped halt a two-game skid by Jubilo.
“The entire team played well tonight. I owe my performance to the fans, my teammates and the coaching staff, and everyone associated with the club. Everyone’s been so supportive since I arrived.”
Jubilo coach Masaaki Yanagishita was gushing about his new signing.
“Everyone was feeding off him,” said Yanagishita, whose side are at Yokohama F Marinos next weekend. “We’ve never played like the way we did today. He was making everyone around him better.
“We were amazing. Our concentration level was high and all of our players were right on the edge. I think our opponents must have been under a ton of pressure throughout the match.”
The defeat saw Kashiwa stay in second place on 41 points, one point behind defending champions Nagoya Grampus who had overtaken Reysol the previous night with their seventh straight victory.
Kashiwa, who have not lost back-to-back games all season, will try to rebound on Saturday when they host last-place Avispa Fukuoka.
Fukuoka on this night stunned Kawasaki Frontale 2-1 at home to give new manager Tetsuya Asano his first win, improving to 11 points from the 21 matches and moving within four points of 17th-place Montedio Yamagata.
Kawasaki have now dropped four in a row to fall a dozen points off the pace.
“We never expected a result like this,” Nelsinho said. “I think three of the goals we could have prevented, but we just could not match Jubilo’s intensity.
“Our players are talented, I do not question that. It’s the responsibility of me and the coaches to get the most out of them.”
In another J1 game, Naoki Yamada’s first goal this year turned out to be a crucial one as the Japan midfielder netted the third for Urawa Reds in a 3-2 away victory over Albirex Niigata.
Reds have won four of their last six to steer 10 points clear of the relegation zone.