KASHIWA, CHIBA PREF. – Jubilo Iwata poured cold water on Kashiwa Reysol’s attempts to reignite their J.League title challenge while adding fuel to their own ambitions with a 3-0 win over the defending champions on Saturday night.
Reysol went into the match at Hitachi Stadium having seen their tremendous recovery from a poor start to the season — rising from 15th to fourth in the table in the space of two months — checked by three draws from their last three games.
But goals from Jubilo’s Hiroki Yamada and Yuichi Komano and a red card for Reysol defender Naoya Kondo all within the first half-hour complicated the Chiba side’s chances of getting back on track, and a third from Ryoichi Maeda 12 minutes from time completed the rout as Jubilo leapfrogged their hosts into fourth place.
“We used the experience we have of away games this season very well, and played true to our own style,” said Jubilo manager Hitoshi Morishita. “Being a man up was an advantage for us, but it also made it difficult in some ways because we had to change things in midfield.”
League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima saw their cushion at the top cut to one point after losing 1-0 to FC Tokyo, while second-place Vegalta Sendai beat Omiya Ardija 3-1. Urawa Reds stayed one point behind in third after beating Shimizu S-Pulse 2-0.
“It was a very difficult game for us,” said Kashiwa manager Nelsinho. “I have never beaten Jubilo, and it was also a very important game in terms of the league table. But losing the first goal from nothing and then having Kondo sent off was a big blow.
“At halftime I had to think about how to change things around, and I wanted more speed in attack. But we weren’t good enough. We couldn’t keep the ball in midfield, and nothing went right for us tonight.”
Jubilo’s fifth-minute opener stunned the home crowd into silence, with all eyes turning toward the linesman in expectation of an offside flag that never came after Takuya Matsuura’s defense-splitting through-ball. Instead Yamada found himself with only goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno to beat, and the midfielder made no mistake with a delicate chip into the net.
Leandro Domingues fired a shot just over the bar as Reysol went in search of a reply, but the home side suffered a major setback in the 18th minute when Kondo received a straight red for diving into a studs-up challenge on Yamada.
Jubilo wasted little time taking advantage, with Komano drilling a 30-meter free kick low into the corner to double the visitors’ lead in the 28th minute.
Kashiwa’s An Yong Hak wasted a chance to reduce the deficit shortly before halftime, and Mitsuru Chiyotanda thought he had extended Jubilo’s lead six minutes after the restart only to see his goal chalked off for offside.
But Maeda put the matter beyond doubt when he notched the visitors’ third in the 78th minute, volleying home at the far post after Minoru Suganuma had supplied the cross from the left.
“We made a lot of chances and reacted well to the goal that was disallowed with the score at 2-0,” said Morishita. “The fact that we went on to score a third shows just how much our team has grown.”
Elsewhere in the J.League, Gamba Osaka continued their recent upturn of form with a 7-2 win over Consadole Sapporo — taking their scoring tally to 12 in two games — while Yokohama F. Marinos’ attempt to set a new club record of 16 games unbeaten ended with a 2-0 defeat to Cerezo Osaka.
Albirex Niigata beat Kashima Antlers thanks to a 38th-minute goal from Michael, Mu Kanazaki notched the winner as Nagoya Grampus beat Kawasaki Frontale 1-0, and Vissel Kobe and Sagan Tosu played out a 0-0 draw.