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Jubilo Iwata striker Naohiro Takahara has been named the player of the first stage after leading his side to its fifth stage title, the J. League announced Friday.

Takahara, the league’s joint top scorer, had 11 goals in Iwata’s last seven games of the first stage and helped the two-time league champion clinch its most recent success with a late winner in last Saturday’s 3-2 win at Kashiwa Reysol.

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