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SENDAI — Vegalta forward Yoshiteru Yamashita scored a 101th-minute header helping Sendai edge Vissel Kobe 2-1 in extra time at Sendai Stadium on Sunday to give the J. League Division One newcomer its fourth straight victory.

Vissel’s new signing Ataliba put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute when the Brazilian midfielder headed in a loose ball from a corner.

Sendai kept on attacking and finally leveled the game when Marcos converted a penalty five minutes into injury time. The home team had been awarded the spot kick after Vissel defender Masao Tsuchiya handled the ball in the box.

In extra time, Kobe appeared to have ended the game when Sidiclai headed home only for referee Tetsuya Hamana to blow for a foul on Kazu.

The game was marred however, by some controversial decisions by referee Hamana. Aside from the penalty decision and the disallowed goal, Hamana also missed a certain penalty for Vissel in the 72nd minute when forward Ryuji Bando was knocked down by a Sendai defender in the box.

Marinos, S-Pulse hot

Yokohama F Marinos, who narrowly escaped relegation to the second division last season, and Emperor’s Cup holder Shimizu S-Pulse also maintained their unbeaten records.

Brazilian defender Naza headed in a Shunsuke Nakamura free-kick to open the scoring in the 43rd minute before Norihisa Shimizu and Will added second-half goals as Yokohama crushed JEF United Ichihara 3-0 away from home.

At Shimizu, a 73rd-minute goal from Masaaki Sawanobori canceled out Amaral’s first-half strike and Croatian striker Igor Cvitanovic scored a golden goal to give S-Pulse its third extra-time victory of the season edging FC Tokyo 2-1.

Elsewhere, Japan international Koji Nakata netted a second-half header as champions Kashima Antlers won 1-0 at Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

The Urawa Reds fought back from two goals down to earn their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw at Gamba Osaka, while Consadole Sapporo scored three goals after the break as it beat hosts Nagoya Grampus Eight 3-0 for its first victory under new manger Tetsuji Hashiratani.

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