KASHIWA, CHIBA PREF. – Keiji Tamada denied Kashiwa Reysol an unlikely win after playing the entire second half with 10 men as Nagoya Grampus came back to rescue a 3-3 draw in the J.League on Saturday.
Reysol’s Ryoichi Kurisawa picked up his second booking in first-half injury time with his team 2-1 ahead at Hitachi Stadium, and the home side’s prospects worsened further when Nagoya’s Takahiro Masukawa equalized four minutes after the break.
Masato Kudo defied the odds when he restored Reysol’s lead with his second goal of the game in the 63rd minute, but Tamada stabbed home eight minutes later to claim a share of the spoils from a match that ended with a total of six goals, six yellow cards and one red.
“It was a very boring game, but I hope that you don’t agree with me,” said Grampus manager Dragan Stojkovic. “For everyone it was very exciting, but the most important thing for us as the visitors is that we got a point from Kashiwa Reysol, who are one of the best teams in the league.
“For me, it’s important thanks to the numerical advantage that we controlled the second half. We deserved absolutely to score the equalizer, and losing this game would have been very sad for us.”
Reysol looked comfortably in control as the halftime whistle approached, but a second yellow for Kurisawa after a heavy challenge on Taishi Taguchi changed the complexion of the match.
“The first half and the second half were two different types of game for us,” said Kashiwa manager Nelsinho. “We were able to play the way we wanted in the first half, creating lots of chances and defending well. But with a man down we had to think about shutting down the opposition attacks and hitting them on the counter.
“They scored from a set piece in the second half, but if you look at the game as a whole, with us losing a man, changing tactics and then scoring, it was very good.”
Grampus made the perfect start to the match, with 20-year-old Teruki Tanaka scoring his first-ever J.League goal in the third minute after finding himself completely unmarked at a corner.
But Reysol equalized almost directly from the restart, Junya Tanaka brilliantly pulling down a long pass on the left before sending over a cross for Kudo to head in.
The home side then moved in front in the 14th minute after a clinical break forward. Kudo released Tanaka down the left before moving inside to receive the return ball, but when Kudo’s shot was blocked by a Grampus defender, Leandro Domingues was on hand to bury the rebound.
Tanaka twice went close to adding another before halftime, but instead Reysol went into the break with other things on their mind after Kurisawa’s red card.
“It was a slippy pitch and that made for a lot of physical contact,” said Nelsinho. “The referee understood this, but I think he was very quick to bring out the cards. Both sets of players were putting in hard tackles, but it was our players who were getting booked.”
Grampus only needed four minutes of the second half to make the advantage count. Taguchi swung a free kick into the Reysol box, and Masukawa rose highest to head in the equalizer.
But as Grampus began to turn the screw, the 10 men of Kashiwa turned the tables with a sublime second goal from Kudo. The 22-year-old dribbled through a cluster of Nagoya defenders, before unleashing a left-foot shot that nestled into the corner of the net.
Grampus, however, were not finished. Kisho Yano broke into the box to draw a save out of goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno, and Tamada poked home the loose ball to claim a point for the visitors.
“When the pitch is slippy, you need to have good technique,” said Tamada. “That becomes very important.”
Elsewhere in the J.League, leaders Yokohama F. Marinos beat champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-1 to make it five wins out of five, while Omiya Ardija preserved their unbeaten record with a 1-0 victory over FC Tokyo.
Albirex Niigata picked up their first win of the campaign, 1-0 over Vegalta Sendai, and there was also an upturn in fortunes for struggling Shimizu S-Pulse as a goal from Bare gave them a 1-0 win over Sagan Tosu.
Ventforet Kofu beat Oita Trinita 1-0, a goal from Yasushi Endo gave Kashima Antlers a 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Cerezo Osaka, and Shonan Bellmare drew 1-1 with Kawasaki Frontale.
In the day’s late game, Genki Haraguchi scored in the 92nd minute to give Urawa Reds a 2-1 win over Jubilo Iwata.