• Kyodo


Second-half substitute Norihiro Nishi struck a golden goal as Jubilo Iwata came from behind to beat Gamba Osaka 5-4 at home and regain top spot in the J. League first division on Saturday.

News photoNaohiro Takahara of Jubilo Iwata heads home a goal during Saturday’s match against Gamba Osaka.

Iwata looked to be on the way to only its second defeat of the season after a brace from league-leading scorer Magrao and goals from Kota Yoshihara and Yasuhito Endo put Gamba 4-2 in front with 13 minutes remaining.

But in-form striker Naohiro Takahara bagged his second of the night from the penalty spot on 83 minutes to start the rescue mission and international teammate Toshihiro Hattori took the game to extra time with an injury-time header.

Then, in the 98th minute and Iwata down to 10 men following Go Oiwa’s red card, Nishi saw his shot take a lucky deflection to seal the win and secure two valuable points for last season’s first-stage winner.

Iwata moved level with Yokohama F. Marinos on 28 points from 12 games but has a superior goal difference.

Meanwhile, bottom club Consadole Sapporo’s relegation troubles continued after it went down 3-2 at home to Shimizu S-Pulse, Masaaki Sawanobori snatching a late winner for the Shizuoka club on his 301st league appearance.

Tokyo Verdy went back to losing ways in the form of a 2-1 home defeat to JEF United Ichihara.

Elsewhere, Brazilian striker Amaral grabbed a hat trick to give FC Tokyo a 3-1 win at Kashiwa Reysol while compatriot Ueslei hit the winner in Nagoya Grampus Eight’s 2-1 win at home to Kashima Antlers.

Vegalta Sendai trounced Sanfrecce Hiroshima 4-2 with all six goals coming in the second half.

Suzuki debuts

GENK, Belgium (Kyodo) Japan striker Takayuki Suzuki made his competitive debut for Belgian first-division side Genk as a second-half substitute in the Belgian Super Cup but his side went down 2-0 to Club Bruges on Saturday.

Suzuki, who moved from the J. League’s Kashima Antlers last month, came on in the 77th minute with the score at 1-0 but saw little of the ball and league champion Genk conceded another goal to lose the Belgian season’s curtain raiser to cup winner Bruges.

“It’s too early to know whether I’ve improved or not but hopefully (in the upcoming league games) I’ll be in better condition to play,” said Suzuki.

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