Veteran Japan striker Masashi Nakayama scored twice as Jubilo Iwata climbed back into first place in the J. League second stage with a 2-0 win away to local rival Shimizu S-Pulse on Wednesday.
Last year’s champions Kashima Antlers and FC Tokyo also grabbed victories to move level with Jubilo at the top, with the first-stage winner ahead on goal difference.
Another of South Korea’s World Cup squad, Park Ji Sung put Kyoto Purple Sanga one up on the half hour at Kashima, but the Antlers hit back through two set-piece goals to win 2-1.
Japan international Koji Nakata headed in a Mitsuo Ogasawara free-kick after 34 minutes and Ogasawara was once again the provider when Tomohiro Ikeuchi headed in the vital goal from a corner in the 58th minute.
In a meeting between the capital’s two teams, FC Tokyo also came back to beat Tokyo Verdy 2-1. After falling behind to an early Edmundo effort, an Amaral penalty and a second-half Kelly goal from short range was enough to settle the encounter.
Nagoya Grampus Eight began the day in the lead but slumped to a 2-0 loss away at lowly Vissel Kobe thanks to strikes from Brazilian duo Oseas and Harison and Urawa also missed a chance to move top after a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Kashiwa Reysol.
An 88th-minute header from Masanobu Matsunami earned Gamba Osaka three points in a 1-0 win against Sanfrecce Hiroshima, while two late goals brought JEF United Ichihara a 3-1 victory over Vegalta Sendai.
Marinos squeeze home
YOKOHAMA — Yokohama substitute forward Tomoyuki Hirase struck in the 113rd minute to give the F. Marinos a narrow 1-0 victory over Consadole Sapporo 1-0 in extra time at International Stadium Yokohama on Wednesday night. The win gave them their first points of the J. League Division One second stage.
Hirase, who came off the bench at the beginning of the second half of extra time, got a pass from Brazilian forward Will who chested down a Naza free-kick from the left to put an end to what had been a lackluster game.
With the loss, relegation-threatened Sapporo found itself at the bottom of the table, both in the second stage with one point and in the season’s overall standings with seven points.
Yokohama manager Lazaroni said, “Our team is getting better technically and physically. I hope we can get better mentally from now.” (Kumi Kinohara)
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