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Sanfrecce striker Sato breaks all-time J1 scoring record

Kyodo

Sanfrecce Hiroshima striker Hisato Sato scored his 158th career goal on Sunday to become the all-time leading scorer in the J. League first division.

The 33-year-old Sato netted a 43rd-minute equalizer to give reigning champion Hiroshima a 1-1 draw at Nagoya Grampus, moving to the top of the all-time charts ahead of Kawasaki Frontale’s Yoshito Okubo and former Jubilo Iwata striker Masashi Nakayama.

Sato’s goal came when a shot from Kosei Shibasaki came off him and changed course to end up in the back of the net.

“I’d like my 158th goal to have been a bit prettier,” said Sato. “But I had got myself ready in front of goal and it went in so I guess it is a typical goal for me. I hope my 159th goal leads to a win.”

Okubo had just joined Nakayama and Sato in a tie with his 157th goal in Kawasaki’s 4-4 draw at home to Shonan Bellmare on Saturday.

Sato has helped Hiroshima win three league titles in the last four seasons and was the J. League Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner in 2012.

Sato started his career with JEF United Ichihara (now JEF United Chiba) and joined Hiroshima in 2005. He has been capped 31 times for Japan, scoring four goals.